Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I be Punished for Trying?

Last updated on February 11, 2019

Attempting suicide is illegal in Singapore. It is punishable with a year’s jail, or fine, pursuant to section 309 of the Penal Code. However, it is rarely enforced in reality. This is so as not to aggravate the already delicate emotional well-being of the suicidal person. Therefore, a person who attempts suicide and fails is rarely punished.

In 2015, 837 people were arrested out of 1,096 reported cases of attempted suicide. Between 2013 and 2015, an average of only 0.6% of the reported cases were brought to court.

When Will People Who Commit Suicide be Brought to Court?

This law is usually only enforced against those who repeatedly attempt to commit suicide. This is because the courts have the power to get these people to seek treatment, via a mandatory treatment order.

Will a Person Who Succeeds in Committing Suicide Still Get Punished?

A person who succeeds and dies as a result of suicide will also not be punished, for obvious reasons. The urban legend that a deceased person who dies via suicide will have his corpse handcuffed and arrested, and/or whipped as punishment, is merely a myth.

Will a Person Who Encourages Another to Commit Suicide be Punished?

On a related note, a person found guilty of abetting suicide (i.e. aiding another in attempting suicide) will be punished with a fine and also a jail term of up to 10 years, pursuant to section 306 of the Penal Code. This is especially so if such an abettor is motivated by malicious intentions.

Does a Doctor Commit an Offence by Turning Off a Person’s Life Support?

In contrast, as long as a person is above 21 years of age, he can sign a legal document known as an Advance Medical Directive. This document allows him to inform his doctor that he does not wish to be given life-sustaining treatment in the event that he is unconscious with a terminal illness such that he is unable to make his wishes known at that point in time.

In such cases, given the patient’s express consent, the doctor will not be held as an abettor of suicide if he switches off life support and allows the patient to die.

Arrest and Investigation
  1. Police Investigation Process in Singapore
  2. When Can the Police Arrest Someone?: Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  3. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  4. Can a Civilian Arrest a Criminal in Singapore?
  5. Is lying to the police or authorities a punishable offence in Singapore?
  6. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  7. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  8. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  9. Do You Have a "Right to Remain Silent" to the Police in Singapore?
  10. Extradition: What if You Flee after Committing Crime in Singapore?
  11. Warrant of Arrest: What to Do If It is Issued Against You in Singapore
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  2. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  3. What is Private Prosecution?
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Criminal Records in Singapore
  6. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
Criminal Proceedings
  1. Criminal Compensation in Singapore
  2. What Can I Do to Protect Myself in Self-Defence in Singapore?
  3. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  4. Mitigation Plea
  5. Pleading Guilty
  6. Criminal Appeals in Singapore
  7. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  8. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  9. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  10. Reformative Training in Singapore: When will it be Ordered?
  11. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  12. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore and When Will They be Ordered?
  13. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  14. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  15. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  16. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
Sexual Offences
  1. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  2. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  3. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  4. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
  2. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  4. When is Gambling Illegal in Singapore?
  5. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  6. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  7. Legal Drinking Age in Singapore and Other Drinking-Related Laws
  8. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age and Common Smoking Offences
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Cybercrime
  1. Is it illegal to cheat someone of an in-game item in MMORPGs?
  2. What to Do If Someone Impersonates Me Online
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: Elements and Penalties
  2. Dishonest assistance and knowing receipt - The case of David Rasif
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  5. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore: What's the Difference?
  2. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I be Punished for Trying?
  3. Is it illegal to feed stray animals in Singapore?
  4. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore
  5. What are Sham Marriages and are They Illegal in Singapore?
  6. Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore: Police Permits and the Public Order Act
  7. What is the Offence of Rioting?
  8. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  9. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  10. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
  11. Complete Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  12. Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?: Being Recruited and Penalties
  13. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  14. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  15. Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
  16. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  17. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  18. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
  19. Littering and Killer Litter Offences: Here are the Penalties in Singapore
  20. Organised Crimes: Penalties/Orders Syndicates Face in Singapore
  21. Animal Cruelty in Singapore: Offences, Penalties & How to Report
  22. Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
  23. Guide to Singapore’s Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?