Study looks at suicide attitudes in Scotland

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Records dating back 500 years are being studied in what is believed to be the first comprehensive research of suicide in Scotland throughout the ages.

Professor Rab Houston, a historian at the University of St Andrews, is sifting through asylum, medical and legal records as part of his study.

Previous definitions of suicide range from "at the instigation of the devil" to findings of mentally instability.

Some people who committed suicide had their goods forfeited to the Crown.

Prof Houston's project - Suicide and society in northern England and Scotland - aims to ask new questions on the subject and revise existing interpretations.

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