Suicide pill  

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The Death of Chatterton (1856) by Henry Wallis
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The Death of Chatterton (1856) by Henry Wallis

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A suicide pill (also known as the cyanide pill, kill-pill, lethal pill, Death-pill, or L-pill) is a pill, capsule, ampoule, or tablet containing a fatally poisonous substance that a person ingests deliberately in order to quickly commit suicide. Military and espionage organizations have provided their agents in danger of being captured by the enemy with suicide pills and devices which can be used in order to avoid an imminent and far more unpleasant death (such as through torture), or to ensure that he/she cannot be interrogated and forced to disclose secret information. As a result, lethal pills have important psychological value to persons carrying out missions with a high risk of capture and interrogation.

The term "poison pill" is also used colloquially for a policy or legal action set up by an institution that has fatal or highly unpleasant consequences for that institution if a certain event occurs. Examples are the poison pill shareholders rights amendments inserted in corporate charters as a takeover defence, and wrecking amendments added to legislative bills.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Suicide pill" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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