UAE | Health

How attempted suicide is handled:

Legal, Islam and healthcare system – how suicide is handled

  • By Carolina D’Souza, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:10 November 26, 2012
  • Gulf News

By law:

Attempted suicide is defined as a penalty, applied to someone who attempts to kills himself intentionally. According to the article 335 of the federal penal law, a person who attempts suicide can be jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to Dh5,000.

However, the legal system recognises metal health illness as a suspect.

According to Dr Yousuf Abouallaban, managing director and consultant psychiatrist at ACPN: “Legal aspect seems scary because the law criminalises people who attempt suicide. As physicians, we believe that suicide is an indication of an underlying mental illness that needs treatment. Whenever we tell the court that there is an underlying mental illness condition [in a suspect], the person is released and referred for treatment.”

By Islam:

Suicide is forbidden in Islam. Religious belief about suicide has a fundamental role in the acceptance of the idea of suicide. If a human doesn’t believe suicide, taking one’s life may make it easier. Some may consider that suicide is noble to defend mistakes or to deal with losses that cannot be handled.

By the health care system:

At the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), any incident during detoxification or rehabilitation that involves a patient’s attempted suicide or serious self-harm, is reported — with relevant patient confidentiality regulations — to the Authority’s Health Regulation Department.

According to Dr Adel Karrani, assistant head of the Psychiatry Department at Rashid Hospital, doctors at emergency departments are trained to recognise red flags or warning signs. “Rest assured, patients who reach out to doctors will not be prosecuted because we recognise that the patient has underlying health issues,” he said.

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