Suicide in Pakistan
Suicide in Pakistan is below the global average, however, figures which are reported may be different from actual figures which would reflect the true number of Suicides in Pakistan. In this article, we will discuss briefly the legalities surrounding suicide, as well as suggestions on how to tackle such issues.
Suicide in Pakistan is covered by the Pakistan Penal Code under Section 325. Suicide is illegal and forbidden by both Religion and the Law alike. This guide will go through the legal implications of Attempted Suicide and Assisted Suicide in Pakistan.
Main Causes of Suicide in Pakistan
Suicide can be caused by an array of factors and has no sole reason or factor. From Prison inmates awaiting trial or execution, to family pressures to do something they don’t want to do or being in a position where death appears to be the only remedy (in their opinion). Globally, the reason provided for the highest rate of male suicide is due to the issues they face when trying to see their children, this is also evident and true in Pakistan also.
In Pakistan, the majority of suicides reported are from Married
Women. Reasons cited for such suicides come down to financial and marital
issues, as well as family pressure and disgrace. Suicides are not always
intentionally done, but sometimes psychological and medical conditions can
induce the tendency to commit suicide.
The Legal Implications of Suicide in Pakistan
Suicide itself is a crime, but obviously, someone who has committed suicide can not be punished, as once the act is committed, they are already dead. What is, therefore, punishable and implementable is the Attempt of Suicide. As per the Pakistan Penal Code, the punishment for Attempted Suicide is up to one-year imprisonment or a fine, or both.
In some instances, the person wishing to commit suicide would be unable to do it alone, and he may wish the assistance of another person to help him, this would be known as Assisted Suicide. In other instances, a person would be forced to either kill themselves or commit such an act that would lead to their death. This would be considered Forced Suicide and would be treated as a type of Murder in Pakistan.
Assisted Suicide in Pakistan
Assisted suicide in Pakistan is considered to be the act of an individual helping someone commit Suicide, who may not be able to do it themselves. In medical and legal terms, this is known as euthanasia. A majority of such cases are seen in Hospitals, where a patient is not willing to continue their life due to their poor quality of life due to chronic or terminal illness.
Euthanasia in Pakistan is illegal, and the doctors (and individuals) found assisting such a suicide would be punished accordingly. Although death by assisted suicide in Pakistan is illegal, it has been observed that an individual can refuse treatment for a disease that may cure them, as this is not illegal. We have also seen cases where patients fly to countries (such as the Netherlands) to institutes that offer Euthanasia treatments.
Parasuicide In Pakistan
Parasuicide in Pakistan refers to the attempt someone makes to commit suicide without actually intending to end their life. This is usually down to psychological issues and ailments in the individual, which require medical intervention.
These acts, seen as gestures to suicide, can also be done out of sheer frustration to a situation (such as poverty, illness or social factors). This can be executed by Self Harm in Pakistan, Lethal Overdoses, poor response to depression and anxiety or ulterior outbursts of attention-seeking behavior.
Forced Suicide in Pakistan
Forced suicide in Pakistan is referred to as Suicide pressured by other people, with the view of the victim killing themselves so as the culprits have no blame being put on to them. To prove such a case a lot of Evidence would be required.
This would be classed as murder in Pakistan. Not only would such culprits be tried in court for murder, but also for Criminal Conspiracy and also Criminal Abetment.
Islamic views on Suicide
As Pakistan is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the constitution and laws must be in line with Shariah Law and the teachings of Islam. In this matter, the laws of Pakistan would preside even if the people involved are not of the Muslim faith.
The views of Suicide in Islam are very crystal clear. It is strictly forbidden. Surah Al Nisa verse 29 is directly quoted to say “And do not kill yourself (Or one another). Indeed, Allah is to you ever merciful”. This quotation is sufficiently interpreted to conclude that Islam doesn’t permit suicide, or assisted suicide, and even murder.
Legal Procedure in cases of Suicide in Pakistan
Once an attempted suicide, or apprehension of suicide, is reported to the Police, they initiate their investigations into the matter by filing an FIR in Pakistan and reporting their findings to the Government-Designated Medico-Legal Centers (MLC’s). The MLCs are the only authorized institute to receive and handle such forensic cases and Forensic Evidence in Pakistan.
Once the matter is referred to the MLC, the individual who
was reported for attempted suicide/suicide tendencies is examined and
repeatedly called to monitor the individual for their psychological assessment.
If the patient is then deemed to be psychologically unfit, they would be
offered treatment and would escape being imprisoned.
Government Vs Private Remedies to Suicide Control
Due to social factors and importance’s in Pakistan (especially when harassment and loss of face in society have been cited by victims) some cases are sent to private clinics for rehabilitation. Usually, Private wards are seen to handle such cases more effectively.
Unlike Government facilities, Private facilities do not disclose such delicate and sensitive information. Each matter is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, subject to the individual circumstances of each matter.
What you can do in such circumstances?
The best thing to do in these circumstances is to keep in touch with people whom you feel may be suicidal or have suicidal tendencies. Report them to the Police in Pakistan immediately and arrange a family or friends-led intervention on the matter.
An intervention is when family and friends get together and physically take control of the situation. This could be to escort and accompany the person to the Police or psychiatric ward. It can also be to realize why the individual is feeling suicidal and to assist the individual.
How we can assist you with matters of Suicide in Pakistan
If you need legal assistance in such delicate matters, remember that we are only a phone call away. If it’s a person going through legal issues, ask them to come to us for free, and we will try to assist them as much as we can. If you or your loved ones have been a victim of this, our friendly lawyers in Pakistan are always on standby to assist you.
You can call us on 0308 5510031 or 0092308 5510031 (if you’re calling from Abroad). Alternatively, simply fill out our form below and one of our representatives will call you back to discuss your matter.