Legal Aspects of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)

Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2022



Legal Aspects of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)

Andrej Demuth, Slavka Demuthova



This theoretical study focuses on the conceptual definition of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and philosophical-psychological-legal analysis of its medical and legal aspects. It draws attention to the absence of a clear definition of the term NSSI as a separate nosological unit in DSM 5. Based on a comparison of the Slovak and German legal order, it examines the position of suicide attempts (SA) in medicine and law and, by analogy, considers the legal problems and limits of securing and regulating NSSI in adults and children. The text draws attention in particular to the limitations of NSSI regulation concerning the age, mental health and autonomy of the will of the adolescent individual. In conclusion, the study proposes to perceive non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour in the context of the right to self-determination, as an undesirable but relatively acceptable coping strategy aimed at averting more serious self-harm – suicide.

Keywords: Self-harm, Law, NSSI, Regulation, Suicide.