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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2006 Jun;36(3):296-301.

Imminent suicide: the illusion of short-term prediction.

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Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.


The concept of imminent suicide is examined. A search of National Electronic Library for Mental Health, the Cochrane Library, PubMed, OVID and MD Consult databases was conducted using the terms "suicide, imminent." The term imminent frequently appears in the mental health literature, finding common usage among clinicians. It is also a legal term of art embedded in civil commitment statutes; duty to warn and protect statutes and case law, usually under the rubric of dangerousness; and in seclusion and restraint policies. Managed care admission protocols may contain imminence criteria for patients at risk for suicide before approving insurance benefits, yet no suicide risk factors exist for the short-term prediction of suicide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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