What is it about?

This paper talks about the effectiveness of suicide regulating and prevention measures in Japan, the Netherlands, and South Korea in controling their existing elderly suicide rates (based on the available data in the WHO database as of 2018) in their respective countries in 2000-2013.

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Why is it important?

In response to the increasing suicide rates, most developed countries have enacted their own suicide policies and programs. These programs and policies, which are designed to either prevent, intervene, or regulate a factor that can affect possible suicide instances, are usually enacted by governments to control their suicide rates and to deter suicidal people. For example, on the side of suicide prevention, governments prevent suicide rates committed on train tracks by providing small gates on train platforms or by setting up emergency landlines; whereas on the side of suicide regulation and use of legal methods, such as euthanasia, governments do not remove the means of suicide, but they do control suicide rates by effectuating certain rules and requirements, limiting the number of people able to access euthanasia legally. But how successful are these? Thus, this paper scrutinizes these measures by using an established framework for measuring public policies. The included variables are effectiveness, unintended effects, equity and cost, and acceptability. Looking at Japan, the Netherlands, and South Korea in this paper not only allowed to showcase different models of regulation and preventive measures, but it also demonstrated the various suicide determinants in OECD countries.


I originally wrote this article for my first master's class in 2015. Little did I know that I would end up updating it, let alone successfully publishing it years later. I hope readers find this article illuminating and learn how precarious our elderly's position is in developed societies as much as I did.

Angela Louise C. Rosario
National University of Singapore

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Influencing Suicide Rates among the Elderly, Comparative Sociology, December 2019, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15691330-12341513.
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