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A person takes medication for a terminal medical condition then suddenly decides to stop, is that considered suicide?

Colorado Springs, CO |
Filed under: Civil rights

This person sent text messages to someone stating that he knew he was going to eventually die from his condition, so he decided to stop taking his medications and avoid prolonging the inevitable. The recipient of the messages notified police, who are now searching for the person to take him into custody for threatening suicide. Does that make sense and what might be the possible outcomes?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. A person who is threatening suicide may be taken to the hospital for a 72 hour hold to determine whether they are mentally stable. It is not clear that stopping the use of medications warrants such an action, but the police will perform a welfare check on a person if someone is concerned about their safety.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


  2. A person has the right to make their own medical decisions on their own behalf so long as they are competent to do so. Moreover, a person's living will (if they have one) may dictate treatment, or the denial of treatment, when they are no longer able to make such decisions themselves. The situation you pose strikes me as odd, and makes me wonder if there are other facts that are not communicated in your post. However, generally speaking, no one can force us to undergo treatment we do not wish to undergo, thus allowing nature to take its course. Suicide, by contrast, is actively subverting the natural process and prematurely ending life. What you describe here does not strike me as suicide.

    The above post, and all posts by this attorney, are informational in nature and not legal advice. The facts provided are not sufficient to provide a proper recommendation of any sort, and no attorney-client relationship is established by Attorney and the Asker in posting regarding the issue. As with any legal question , Asker should contact an attorney for a personal consultation before deciding on, or pursuing, any course of action.

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