Behavior: Going Gentle into That Good Night

Do suicide manuals help create a bias toward death ?

There is only one prospect worse than being chained to an intolerable existence: the nightmare of a botched attempt to end it." So Arthur Koestler wrote in his 1981 preface to A Guide to Self-Deliverance, a suicide manual distributed to the 8,000 members of the British Voluntary Euthanasia Society. When the famed 77-year-old writer (Darkness at Noon), who suffered from Parkinson's disease, decided two weeks ago that his life was intolerable, he reportedly swallowed the finely calibrated dose of drugs prescribed by the society. Sharing the fatal potion was his wife Cynthia,...

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