Undoing Suicidism: A Trans, Queer, Crip Approach to Rethinking (Assisted) Suicide


Product Details

Temple University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.75 inches | 1.09 pounds

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About the Author

Alexandre Baril is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Ottawa. He is the recipient of the 2021 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion President's Award at the University of Ottawa and the 2020 Francophone Canadian Disability Studies Association Tanis Doe Award for his contributions to research and activism on disability.


"Undoing Suicidism is a tremendous contribution to theorizations of living and dying. It is unsettling in the most productive manner and driven by a profound abolitionist philosophy of desires for death as the grounds for a richer, more responsive politics of life. Baril offers a compelling vision of justice for suicidal people that demands rethinking some of the most cherished ideals of liberal personhood."--Jasbir K Puar, author of The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability
"In this important book Alexandre Baril offers a queercrip reframing of (assisted) suicide that explains and critically intervenes in suicidism (the oppression of suicidal people) and ableist, sanist, and ageist arguments about assisted suicide. Justice, care, and support for suicidal people requires questioning what Baril calls 'compulsory aliveness' and listening to, rather than criminalizing and pathologizing, suicidal people. This is an extraordinary and well-researched book. Baril's care-full approach to this difficult topic makes a crucial contribution to queer, trans, feminist, and crip theories and challenges readers to rethink dominant responses to suicide."--Kim Q. Hall, Professor of Philosophy, Appalachian State University, and author of Queering Philosophy
"Undoing Suicidism is a daring, original, and paradigm-shifting book that directly challenges the taken-for-granted idea that suicidal thoughts and actions are unnatural, undesirable states that should always be prevented. Grounded in queer, trans, Mad, and crip theoretical frameworks, and deeply informed by the author's first-hand experience as a suicidal person, Baril imagines a radically different world where the well-documented harms caused by suicidism and preventionist logic are replaced with practices of compassion and solidarity, which grant all people the freedom to explore, express, live with, and sometimes die by, suicide."--Jennifer White, Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, and lead editor of Critical Suicidology: Transforming Research and Prevention for the 21st Century
"[A] provocative critique of 'suicidism, ' a form of 'structural oppression' that stigmatizes people who want to die.... Baril argues that the desire to die is valid and that assisted suicide should be available in some form to all 'suicidal people, regardless of their dis/abilities, health or age.'... Readers may agree with some of the author's carefully argued points about the structural obstacles suicidal people face, and yet struggle to accept both his contention that 'there are no good or bad reasons for wanting to die' and his jarring critiques of 'compulsory aliveness.' This is sure to spark debate."--Publishers Weekly