Parliament decriminalizes attempted suicide

Parliament has amended sections of the Criminal Offenses Act of 1960, which criminalized attempted suicide.

Following the amendment which took place on Tuesday, any person who attempts to take his own life will be considered a mental health issue requiring assistance by law.

Ghanaian health experts have been pushing for the law to be changed, saying attempted suicide is a medical condition that needs health support rather than imprisonment.

But some legislators had kicked against the move to decriminalize attempted suicide.

The former Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, in 2019 described the attempt to take one’s life as an unacceptable behaviour that must rather be punished and deterred.

He stated that criminalizing an attempt to commit suicide would go a long way to discourage Ghanaians, especially the youth, to appreciate that there was no reward in killing oneself.

Over 1,500 cases of suicide are reported nationwide every year.


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