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Suicide, Lethality of

Lethality of suicide refers to the severity of biological damage or medical condition caused by one’s suicide attempt. Put another way, lethality is the probability that a person threatening to commit suicide will succeed, based on the method described, the specificity of the plan, and the availability of the means. Like suicide, lethality can be conceptualized along a continuum ranging from low lethality to high lethality culminating in completed suicide. The lethality of a suicide plan or attempt is essential to the assessment of suicide risk and has been the focus of a large body of research exploring correlates that influence the severity of lethality and its impact on attempted and completed suicide.

Earlier efforts to quantify the lethality of suicide focused primarily on intent, ...

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