Know in which countries committing suicide is legal and illegal

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In December 2014, government of India modified suicidal laws. It decriminalised "attempt to suicide" and thus struck down Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). By new laws attempt to suicide is no longer a crime.

As per Section 309 of the IPC, anyone attempting to commit suicide is punishable with a jail term of up to one year and a fine.


  • In the Australian state of Victoria, suicide is no longer a crime but a survivor of a suicide pact can be charged with manslaughter.
  • But to counsel, incite, or aid and abet another in attempting to commit suicide is a crime.


  • At present, suicide is not a crime in Canada. It was removed from the Criminal Code of Canada in 1972 by the Parliament of Canada.
  • Aiding suicide is an indictable offence and the person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.


  • Committing suicide is considered illegal, but it is not punishable.
  • Assisted-suicide is considered illegal here and anyone found assisting in suicide can be punished.


  • Any form of assisted-suicide, including euthanasia, is illegal in China. Many individuals have protested against this law and demanded change.


  • Attempted suicide is not a criminal offence in Ireland. It was decriminalised in 1993.
  • But, assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal and are currently challenged at the High Court.

North Korea

  • North Korea has a peculiar deterrent for suicides. Although the state cannot punish a dead person, in North Korea relatives of a criminal might be penalized.


  • Suicide or attempted suicide is not illegal in Norway.


  • Suicide itself is not illegal in Romania, however encouraging or facilitating the suicide of another person is a criminal offence and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.(Depending on circumstances)


  • Inciting someone to suicide by threats, cruel treatment, or systematic humiliation is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
  • Even websites that contain suicide jokes are censored in Russia.


  • Anyone who even attempts suicide can be sent to prison for up to a full year.

South Africa

  • Attempting or committing suicide is not considered a crime in this country. From 1886 to 1968 it was illegal, but this legislation no longer stands.
  • Assisted-suicide is still illegal but but  it may eventually be legalised.

United Kingdom

  • In Scotland, suicide directly involving only the deceased person is not by itself a criminal offence under Scots Law.
  • However, attempting suicide might be a Breach of the peace if it is not done as a private act.
  • The Suicide Act 1961 applies only to England and Wales but under Scots Law a person who assists a suicide might be charged with murder, culpable homicide, or no offence depending upon the facts of each case.
Suicide laws by country.

United States

  • Historically, various states listed the act of suicide as a felony. In the late 1960s, eighteen US states had no laws against suicide.
  • In the past, many states regarded suicide as a felony, but these laws were seldom enforced. Currently there is no law against the act of committing suicide in the United States.
  • Physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill is legal in Oregon and Washington.


  • Assisted-suicide is considered legal in this country, but there are specific rules that must be followed.
  • If a person encourages someone to commit suicide for "selfish reasons" or assists them in doing so, the person could be imprisoned for up to 5 years.

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