Suicide pact

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A suicide pact is an agreed plan between two or more individuals to commit suicide. The plan may be to die together, or separately and closely timed. Suicide pacts are important concepts in the study of suicide, and have occurred throughout history, as well as in fiction.

Suicide pacts are generally distinct from mass suicide. The latter refers to incidents in which a larger number of people kill themselves together for the same ideological reason, often within a religious, political, military or paramilitary context. Suicide pacts, in contrast, usually involve small groups of people (such as married or romantic partners, family members, friends or criminal partners) whose motivations are typically non-ideological.

A suicide pact negotiated over the internet, often between complete strangers, is an Internet suicide.

In England and Wales, suicide pact is a partial defense, under section 4 of the Homicide Act 1957, which reduces murder to manslaughter. In Northern Ireland, this defense is created by section 14 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 (c. 20) (N.I.).

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