Under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) [s 13A(1)] it is not an offence to commit or attempt to commit suicide in South Australia. However, it is a serious offence to assist in a suicide or a suicide attempt [s 13A(5)]. A person is able to use reasonable force from stopping what she or he believes is an attempt at suicide [s 13A(2)].
Where suicide (for example, through hanging or electrocution) is the cause of death, a doctor or hospital must notify the police. The deceased must be formally identified and the police must complete a Report of Death to Coroner. If the Coroner considers that a post-mortem is necessary, another form is filled out and sent to the Government Medical Officer, authorising a post-mortem. The post-mortem is carried out in the hospital morgue and a report is sent to the coroner in charge of the district. The Coroner then issues a Form of Coroner's or Justice's Information on Death which is sent to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The Registrar is then able to issue a death certificate when the next-of-kin applies for it.
While there may in the past have been problems arranging a religious service and burial of someone who has committed suicide, this is no longer the case. The cause of death should have no bearing on funeral arrangements.
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