The Potential Perils of a Suicide-specific Diagnosis

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The clinical and scientific challenges inherent in treating and investigating suicide warrant novel approaches to this public health issue of paramount importance. The implementation of suicide-specific diagnoses has been proposed as one possible way to address this problem and was described in the first column of this special 2-part series. This second column explores potential unintended consequences related to such proposed diagnoses and alternative solutions that might afford greater benefits. The idea of suicide-specific diagnoses represents a novel approach, and one worthy of further discussion and consideration; the debate featured in this series represents a joint effort to advance the dialogue about suicide and to promote innovation.

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