Resist calls to decriminalise suicide – Minority Leader

 Resist calls to decriminalise suicide – Minority Leader
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline|Jessie Ola-Morris|Intern
Date: 04-11-2019 Time: 03:11:12:pm
Tamale South MP, Haruna Idrissu

Minority leader in Parliament Haruna Iddrisu has stated that attempts to suicide is a crime which should not be pardoned.

According to him, calls against decriminalising the act should not be heeded to because suicide is an unacceptable behaviour that must be punished rather than pardoned.

The Tamale South Member of Parliament (MP) said that culprits of the act should be punished to deter others especially the youth from engaging in the act.

“You do not want to think that when you have depression and distress, the ultimate thing is that you go and take your life since you cannot recover your life back,” he stated.

Speaking on the Floor during a conversation on whether to decriminalise the act or not, he stated that he doesn’t share in the opinion.

The Tamale South MP argued that act should be decriminalised because there is no justifiable reason for committing suicide.

Mr Iddrisu stated that the only act of attempted suicide that can be pardoned is the altruistic act of suicide.

He explained that that act of attempted suicide can be forgiven because it seeks to protect the societal interest of other than personal interest.

Meanwhile, a Ranking Member of the health committee and MP for Juaboso has also called for the repeal of section 57 (2) of the Criminal Offenses Act, 1960 (Act 29) that speaks on criminalizing attempted suicide.

Mr Iddrisu explained that studies have revealed that suicide behaviours come about as a result of mental disorders, poverty-related issues, financial crises, parental neglect drug abuse among others and victims should be assisted other than treated as criminals.

He added that criminalizing the act encouraged persons who had tendencies of committing the act to take measures to ensure that they succeed the second time.

The Minority Leader further called for a collaborative effort between parliamentarians and the Centre for Suicide and Violence Research, University of Ghana, the Mental Health Authority and Health Well-being International to take steps to repeal the Act.