To the Editor: The editorial by Newman and colleagues on suicide and self-harm in immigration detention1 was a timely reminder of a contemporary issue that has aroused clinical, sociological and political debate. However, in providing a list of dot points for investigation, there was one curious omission. Although perhaps not politically correct or indeed comfortable for the authors, the well recognised possibility that suicide and self-harming behaviour could be politically motivated2 should also be addressed. This is important, not only because we as health professionals could be seen to be naive to ignore this, but, more specifically, so that inappropriate medicalisation of readily understandable distress does not occur.
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