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  • 04 mai 2018 - 08:30
  • laurence villoz 5568 signes
Société

La religion face au suicide

Le Congrès du GraapPendant des siècles, les Églises catholique et protestante ont violemment condamné le suicide. Eric Rutgers dont le fils s’est donné la mort témoigne de son expérience au regard des traditions chrétiennes. Une prise de parole dans le cadre du 29e Congrès du GRAAP sur le thème «Le suicide, osons en parler!»

Par Laurence Villoz

«Pour chaque suicide, cinq à dix personnes sont touchées par un deuil sévère et pourtant une chape de silence persiste sur ce sujet.» Eric et Jacqueline Rutgers ont perdu leur fils Pascal, qui s’est suicidé en automne 1982 à l’âge de 18 ans et demi. «La mort de notre fils nous a conduits à devenir des experts dans l’accompagnement des personnes endeuillées», explique Eric Rutgers, intervenant au 29e Congrès du Group d’accueil et d’action psychiatrique (GRAAP) sur la thématique «le suicide, osons en parler!»

Devant près de 500 personnes réunies au Casino de Montbenon, à Lausanne, mercredi 2 mai, cet ingénieur-physicien a raconté comment la perte de son enfant l’avait transformé à jamais provoquant chez lui de multiples réflexions sur les tabous culturels et religieux liés au suicide. «Je tiens à mon Église, mais cela me fait mal de constater à quel point, elle a été injuste avec les suicidés et leurs familles au cours de l’histoire», lâche Eric Rutgers qui fait partie de la fraternité protestante des Veilleurs. «Le premier grand coupable est Saint-Augustin. Afin de prévenir le suicide des martyrs, il condamne cette pratique et les personnes qui en réchappent. Sa position a été complètement contre-productive pour les suicidés et leur famille.»

Eric Rutgers survole la condamnation du suicide du Ier au XIXe siècle. «Le réformateur Martin Luther affirmait que les suicidés étaient possédés par le Diable. Et avec Jean Calvin, également réformateur au XIVe siècle, les rescapés du suicide étaient fouettés, les morts par suicide empalés et leur famille privée de succession». À partir du XXe siècle, les Églises chrétiennes deviennent plus compatissantes. «En 1983, le code de droit canonique supprime l’interdiction de sépulture aux suicidés. De notre côté, nous avons reçu beaucoup de réconfort de notre paroisse à Baden (AG)», ajoute le fondateur d’Arc-en-ciel Suisse, une association d’entraide de parents en deuil.

La Bible ne condamne pas

Si les Églises catholique et protestantes ont violemment condamné le meurtre de soi pendant des siècles, «la Bible ne le condamne à aucun moment», insiste Eric Rutgers qui mentionne la présence de neuf suicides dans l’Ancien Testament et un seul dans le Nouveau. «Par ailleurs, plusieurs personnages ont vécu des déprimes terribles et ont demandé à Dieu de mourir, comme Élie (1 Roi 19). Dieu ne le punit pas pour sa demande. Il lui envoie un ange et fait ainsi de la prévention», sourit Eric Rutgers.

À la fin du témoignage et des réflexions d’Eric Rutgers, une personne du public, qui se présente comme athée, lui demande comment trouver du réconfort dans la religion après une telle perte. «Après la mort de notre fils, cela a été très difficile pour moi. J’étais en colère contre Dieu, je le traitais de tous les noms. Mais grâce à l’histoire de Job (NDLR. Récit biblique d’un juste soumis à de multiples épreuves), j’ai progressivement pu transformer ce que je ressentais. J’ai vécu ce drame, Dieu ne m’a pas préservé de la souffrance, mais il m’a relevé, il m’a permis une reconstruction et à présent, je suis heureux de vivre.»

 

Déconstruire les idées reçues

«Chaque 40 secondes, une personne se suicide dans le monde et toutes les trois secondes, une autre fait une tentative», lâche Hélène Richard-Lepouriel, médecin adjointe responsable de l’Unité des troubles de l’humeur dans le Service des spécialités psychiatriques à l’Hôpital universitaire de Genève (HUG). Également invitée au Colloque du GRAAP, mercredi 2 mai, Hélène Richard-Lepouriel s’est penchée sur les fausses idées reçues sur le suicide.

Contrairement à certaines croyances, le suicide n’est pas une problématique de pays riches. «Cette idée est complètement fausse, 75% des suicides ont lieu dans des pays pauvres selon les chiffres de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS).» Le mythe selon lequel les personnes qui parlent de leurs idées noires auraient moins tendance à se donner la mort que celles qui n’en parlent pas est également erroné. «80% des personnes qui se suicident ou font des tentatives en parlent avant. 36% des suicidés ou suicidants (qui ont fait une tentative) sont allés chez le médecin la semaine précédant l’acte et 70% le mois avant», souligne la médecin.

Parallèlement, le suicide est souvent associé à la question du choix, du courage ou de la lâcheté. «Il faudrait éviter les jugements, car le suicide n’est pas un problème de courage ou de lâcheté, mais de personnes qui souffrent à un point tel qu’elles ne voient plus d’autre issue.» 

 

Les numéros d’aide

  • -143: La Main Tendue, écoute et conseils pour adultes
  • -147: Pro Juventute, écoute et conseils pour les jeunes
  • -144: Ambulances, urgences
  • -117: Police, urgence

    Pour une aide plus ciblée par thème et par canton: www.stopsuicide.ch, rubrique «Besoin d’aide».

 

 

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