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Suicide prevention in Cuba 

Suicide prevention in Cuba
Chapter:
Suicide prevention in Cuba
Author(s):

Sergio A Perez Barrero

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570059.003.0132
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date: 22 August 2019

In Cuba, family and forensic doctors determine the diagnosis for the cause of death as suicide, although in uncertain cases, the police and official services of forensic medicine contribute to the diagnosis. This procedure prevents problems of concealment of suicide death that are connected to religious or life insurance issues, and strengthens the reliability of the diagnosis of the cause of death as suicide in Cuba.

Suicide ranks among the top ten leading causes of death in the country (Perez Barrero 1996), and although suicide rates have decreased substantially, they continue to be high in comparison with other countries in South America (World Health Organization 1999, 2000a). The truth is that suicide rates in Cuba are often misinterpreted. Mortality statistics in Cuba are highly reliable, and this may partially explain why Cuba has higher suicide rates than other South American countries. Moreover, the high suicide mortality dates back to the nineteenth century.

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