Suicide prevention contract

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A suicide prevention contract is a contract that contains an agreement not to commit suicide. It is often used by medical professionals dealing with depressive clients.[1] Typically, the client will be asked to agree to talk with the professional prior to carrying out any decision to commit suicide. Suicide prevention contracts have been described as a "widely used but overvalued clinical and risk-management technique."[2] Indeed, it has been argued that such contracts "may in fact increase danger by providing psychiatrists with a false sense of security, thus decreasing their clinical vigilance."[3] It has also been argued that such contracts can anger or inhibit the client and introduce coercion into therapy.[4]

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  1. ^ The suicide prevention contract: clinical, legal, and risk management issues, J Am Acad Psychiatry Law, 1999, pp. 445–450 
  2. ^ MC Miller; DG Jacobs (1998), Talisman or Taboo: The Controversy of the Suicide-Prevention Contract, Harvard Review of Psychiatry 
  3. ^ The "Suicide-Prevention Contract": A Dangerous Myth, 38 (14), Psychiatric News, July 18, 2003, p. 3 
  4. ^ LM Range; C Campbell; SH Kovac (2002), No-suicide contracts: An overview and recommendations (PDF)