WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Delegate Hopes To Decriminalize Suicide

There's no law on the books, but under Virginia's common law, suicide is considered a crime. In the current legislative session, one delegate thinks it's time for the commonwealth to change that.

In 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 1,000 Virginians took their own lives, among them a student at the University of Virginia who suffered from depression and died after a drug overdose. Her mother was heartbroken and even more upset when she learned suicide was considered a crime here.

Now, her state delegate, Rob Krupicka, is hoping to change that.

"We've seen a really significant rise among people in the military. Too many young people are committing suicide. I've certainly had suicide in my family, and I've talked to a lot of people who have," he says.

Krupicka thinks calling suicide a crime puts an unnecessary stigma on a mental health problem.

"The last thing a family needs to hear after a loved one has died by suicide is, 'By the way, this is also a criminal act,'" he says. 

He thinks society needs to talk about the problem to recognize that it's preventable, and he's introduced a bill that would eliminate the criminal label, something most other states have already done.

NPR

Book Review: 'Kinder Than Solitude'

Ellah Allfrey reviews Kinder Than Solitude, by Yiyun Li.
NPR

Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

The Sichuan peppercorn that makes our mouths tingle activates the same neurons as when our foot falls asleep. Scientists are hoping the connection unlocks clues for how to turn those neurons off.
NPR

John Edwards Resumes Career As Trial Attorney

The former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful is one of three attorneys representing a boy in a medical malpractice case in North Carolina.
NPR

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.