China accounts for 26% of all suicides worldwide. Suicide is the fifth-leading cause of death in the country overall and is the leading cause of death for young women in the country. Suicide is four to five times more frequent in rural settings than in urban ones. Suicide rates are higher among women than among men in China (WHO, 2006).
Zhang Xihuan, a 45-year old women with hepatitis B, was building a new home and needed to borrow extra money for the project. Her debt from her out-of-pocket health expenditures, as well as from her house loan, gave her great anxiety and depression. The shame of not being able to pay her bills and owing money caused her to make a quick decision to end her life by drinking a bottled pesticide. The cultural shame of owing money and the overwhelming burden of her disease both contributed to her decision to end her life.
Case Study 2 Questions
Explain the contributing factors in Mrs. Zhang’s behavior.
Which types of political, social, economic, and cultural-based interventions are needed to decrease this sort of violence in China?
Why are rural women more prone to suicide than urban men?
Why is China a higher risk area for suicide than the rest of the world?”
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