Lithuania's parliament tightens suicide reporting rules

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-11 23:36:17|Editor: yan
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VILNIUS, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania's parliament amended the Law on the Provision on Information to the Public on Tuesday in order to tighten the rules which regulate media's reporting about suicide.

According to the amended law, media is prohibited from reporting on suicide methods and motivation. The law also prohibits media from interpreting suicide as a feasible problem solution or daily fact, as well as using romanticized descriptions of suicide.

Robertas Sarknickas, a lawmaker from the ruling Farmers and Greens Union, told local media that the amendment is made to stop media exploiting the subject of people's suicide.

"In such cases fragile persons might be encouraged to imitate the reported behavior," Sarknickas was quoted as saying by local media.

Currently the Law on the Provision on Information to the Public states that entities of media are obliged to protect and respect human's right to privacy in the case of death or illness and ensure that personal data were not mentioned in cases when suicides or suicide attempts were reported.

A separate Code of Ethics in Providing Information to the Public of Lithuania prohibits media from mentioning suicides or suicide attempts in the headlines and from reporting details of suicide or suicide attempt method. However, the media is not prohibited to mention the suicide's method in general.

The amended law is yet to be signed by the country's President Dalia Grybauskaite.

According to the data from Institute of Hygiene, Lithuania's authority monitoring public health, 749 persons committed suicide in Lithuania in 2017, 9 percent less than previous year. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.88 million.