Peru's ex-president Garcia's suicide to avoid arrest reminded me of general officers and politicians who, although wicked, were foxy but rational. They ought've been punished, but they cunningly escaped punishment through suicide.

I'm assuming that some of the jumpers in the Sep 11 2001 attacks on the WTC weren't judged irrational for dying by suicide.

  1. Society in 2019 disapproves and sigmatizes suicide, but what of such leaders' suicide? How does psychiatry regard their suicides?

    See List of suicides, List of suicides in Nazi Germany, Mass suicides in 1945 Nazi Germany. Generalfeldmarschalls Robert Ritter von Greim and Walter Model. 2003-2008 South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun - Wikipedia, 1970-183 Chilean President Salvador Allende.

  2. Any similar lists for Japan? This one one refers just to a handful of Japanese WW2 top brass.

    I can think of only: Field Marshals Hajime Sugiyama, Hideki Tojo (who missed his heart when he shot himself, but was executed), General Shizuichi Tanaka, Admiral Chūichi Nagumo.


1 Answer 1


Suicide is not a psychiatric disorder. Suicidal ideation or attempts are considered a symptom of certain psychiatric disorders (e.g. depression), and these disorders are treated by psychiatrists, but in and of itself suicide can be a rational choice and is in some legislations even legally facilitated by physicians (e.g. for the terminally ill).

Within their professional capacity, psychiatrists have nothing to say about people killing themselves to avoid shame or punishment or as a sacrifice for their country.

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