Supporting Irrational Suicide
Hardcastle, Valerie Gray
Stewart, Rosalyn Walker
Bioethics 2002 September; 16(5): 425-438
In this essay, we present three case studies which suggest that sometimes we are better off supporting a so-called irrational suicide, and that emotional or psychological distress--even if medically controllable--might justify a suicide. We underscore how complicated these decisions are and how murky a physician's moral role can be. We advocate a more individualized route to end-of-life care, eschewing well-meaning, principled, generalizations in favor of highly contextualized, patient-centered approach. We conclude that our Western traditions of promoting reasoned behavior and life themselves may at times be counter-productive.