From the time when suicide was considered equivalent to premeditated murder by the Canadian justice system to the decriminalization of attempted suicide in 1972, there was a dramatic reversal in how suicidal behaviors were viewed by society. Through an analysis of cases involving suicide attempts in Quebec between 1892 and 1972, we will examine the shift in the legal interpretation of attempted suicide. The law and medical science occasionally compete with one another to impose their own explanations of attempted suicide. These views are not mutually exclusive, though they are, at times, mutually reinforcing. Furthermore, the social reaction toward suicidal behaviors began to migrate from the criminal to the medical within the context of the courts, resulting in de facto decriminalization before such measures were inscribed into law.