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Peruvian Man Copies 13 Reasons Why Suicide, Down to Leaving Tapes

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham ...

The heartbreaking link between 13 Reasons Why & a suicide in Peru

Ever since 13 Reasons Why — the Netflix show chronicling one teen’s decision to take her own life — first aired, there have been concerns that the drama romanticizes suicide and could result in imitators. But this is no longer purely speculative. A young man in Peru recently died by suicide, and like the main character in the show, left recordings behind detailing why he did it.

More: Why I Have Big Problems with 13 Reasons Why

Franco Alonso Lazo Medrano, 23, jumped from his fourth floor apartment after shouting, “I can’t stand heartbreak,” Peruvian media outlets reported. Although he survived the fall — which his mother witnessed — he was declared dead when he arrived at the San Juan de Dios hospital.

Medrano left two suicide notes: one saying goodbye to a friend named Claudia and the other with instructions on who should listen to the tapes he recorded on his computer before his death — allegedly those he said drove him to take his own life. Although none of the notes specifically mentioned 13 Reasons Why, the scenario was virtually identical to the plot of the Netflix hit.

More: Teens Talk 13 Reasons Why

Since the show’s debut in April, there have been calls to ban even talking about it in schools; on the other end of the spectrum, some have suggested that it should be mandatory viewing for students.

More: 13 Reasons Why I Can't Get Behind 13 Reasons Why

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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