19 JUNE 1947, Page 5

Following on what I wrote last week regarding verdicts in

suicide cases, one comment has reached me which I think is apposite. There is (it is suggested) a clear distinction to be drawn between " Suicide while of unsound mind," which is usually quite unjustified by the facts, and " Suicide while the balance of his [or her] mind was disturbed." The contention is that, however deliberate and con- sidered the decision to end life may be, the process of arriving at a decision so grave involves a mental struggle which may properly be described as disturbance of mind. It may be so ; but on this showing—if suicide in itself argues mental disturbance—the same stereotyped verdict might be brought in at every inquest. My own point, which I still think sound, is that to justify such a verdict some evidence of mental instability, quite apart from the fact of suicide itself, should be adduced. jANUS.