The economic argument for a policy of suicide prevention

Doessel, Darrel P. and Williams, Ruth F. G. (2010) The economic argument for a policy of suicide prevention. Suicidology Online, 1 66-75.

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Author Doessel, Darrel P.
Williams, Ruth F. G.
Title The economic argument for a policy of suicide prevention
Journal name Suicidology Online   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2078-5488
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 1
Start page 66
End page 75
Total pages 10
Place of publication DOAJ
Publisher Suicidology Online
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate, using some conventional concepts and procedures from
the discipline of economics, the economic rationale for governments to have suicide prevention policies. This is
a conceptual paper, which proceeds in a theoretical fashion. The part of the economics literature that is relevant
to this task is welfare (or normative) economics, not positive or empirical economics. Welfare economics is that
part of economics which is concerned with evaluating whether some change in the human environment
(economic, social, political etc) has increased social welfare. The motivation of this paper is to show that a
suicide prevention policy involves a legitimate role of government, given the conventional framework of welfare
economics. It may seem puzzling to suicidologists that it is necessary to argue an economic case for suicide
prevention, given that suicide prevention seems established in contemporary civil society. That it is ‘wellestablished’
is a view that does not always apply ‘outside the circle’ of suicidology. The case for policy is
dubious amongst some with a contemporary concern for environmental degradation. This argument is that a
laissez-faire approach to suicide is appropriate in order to protect the planet. This paper shows that there is no
economic case for a ‘no policy’ stance with respect to suicide prevention.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes ; Suicidology Online (SOL) is a peer-reviewed open-access journal published under the Creative Commons License 3.0.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Mon, 19 Mar 2012, 11:04:16 EST by Kimberly Dobson on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry