Public Opinion About Life and Death - Suicide
survey leading found disease
The General Social Survey 2002 and the General Social Survey 2004, both conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, found that 58% of respondents in each survey approved of suicide if a person had an incurable disease, but only a small minority approved of it if the person had gone bankrupt (8% , 11% ), had dishonored his or her family (9% , 11% ), or was simply tired of living (15% , 16% ). In comparison, the same poll from 1977 found that a much lower percentage of people (38%) thought suicide was acceptable if one had an incurable illness. Suicide in other situations was also found less acceptable in the 1977 survey than in the 2002 and 2004 surveys.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the thirteenth-leading cause of death globally, the eleventh-leading cause of death in the United States, and the third-leading cause of death among U.S. young people ages ten to twenty-four (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 53, no. 22, June 11, 2004). Results of a 2004 Gallup Youth survey revealed that 22% of the American teens questioned (ages thirteen to seventeen) had "ever talked or thought about committing suicide." Girls were more likely (28%) than boys (16%) to have had suicidal thoughts. (See Figure 11.5.) When asked if they had ever tried to commit suicide, however, only 4% of girls and 9% of boys had. (See Figure 11.6.)