Giving assistance to suicide, Revised Penal Code

1. Concept and legal basis

Article 253. Giving assistance to suicide. – Any person who shall assist another to commit suicide shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor; if such person leads his assistance to another to the extent of doing the killing himself, he shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal.However, if the suicide is not consummated, the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods, shall be imposed. (Act 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2. Elements of the offense

a. 1st Mode

Elements of the offense:

1) The offender assists another to commit suicide; and,

2) Whether or not the suicide was successful.

1) Assists another to commit suicide

For the 1st mode, the offender should only give assistance to another to commit suicide. The offender should not actively participate in the act itself. For example, the offender knew of the intent to commit suicide of another and still s/he provided help in procuring the items for committing the act of suicide. To what extent the assistance is may be on a case-to-case basis and will be for the courts to decide.

Otherwise, if the offender actively participates in the act itself, this may constitute a different offense, such as the 2nd mode on leading the assistance of suicide or a more serious offense such as homicide or murder, depending on the circumstances.

2) Success of suicide, irrelevant

The success of the suicide is not material. What is important is that the act of the offender...


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