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Altruistic suicide is suicide committed for the benefit of others. Falling on a grenade is one such example. Émile Durkheim notes that tribal people sometimes see it as their duty to commit suicide, as when a wife kills herself after her husband dies, or a man kills himself in old age; but Durkheim also observes that altruistic suicide is unlikely to occur much in modern western society where “individual personality is increasingly freed from the collective personality.” Altruistic suicide has been described as an evolutionarily stable strategy. Altruistic suicide has a long history in India, even being noted in the Dharmashastras. Some perceive self-immolation as an altruistic or "worthy" suicide.
In the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the character Spock commits an altruistic suicide when he takes a lethal dose of radiation poisoning in order to make repairs so that the starship USS Enterprise can escape destruction.
- ↑ Blake, JA (Spring 1978). Death by hand grenade: altruistic suicide in combat. Suicide & life-threatening behavior 1 (8): 46–59.
- ↑ Deniz Yükseker, Lecture on Emile Durkheim, http://home.ku.edu.tr/~dyukseker/lecture-durkheim2-05.doc
- ↑ Mascaro, Steven, Kevin B. Korb, Ann E. Nicholson (2001). Suicide as an evolutionarily stable strategy. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2159: 120–132.
- ↑ Vijayakumar, Lakshmi (January 2004). Altruistic suicide in India. Archives of Suicide Research 1 (8): 73–80.
- ↑ Coleman, Loren (2004). The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines, New York: Paraview Pocket-Simon and Schuster.
- ↑ 'Wrath of Khan' Plot summary. StarTrek.com. Viacom. URL accessed on 20 April 2011.
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