With regards to the topic of suicide being against the law(mar 6,2004), i admit ignorance as to the actual laws against suicide, but working in EMS I am very familiar with the process of law enforcement for any attempted suicide in the state of California. Regardless of the type of attempt, any individual who admits their actions were done to try and kill themselves is considered incapable of making rational decisions. As such they are placed under an involuntary ‘hold’, called a 5150 in enforcement speak, which requires law enforcement to take them (kicking and screaming if necessary) to a hospital, many times via ambulance, to treat injuries and rule out any medical reason for their behavior. After they are medically cleared the individual must spend 72 hours at a mental health facility. If after this period they have been deemed sane, that is no longer an immediate threat to themselves or others, they can be released to society.
thanks for the great column -mkeaton