Ouderen Die 'Klaar Met Leven' Zijn: Toekomstverwachtingen en Ervaren Uitzichtloosheid
Rurup, M L
Pasman, H R W
Kerkhof, A J F M
Deeg, D J H
Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B D
Tijdschrift voor gerontologie en geriatrie 2011 Sep; 42(4): 159-69
There has been a debate for over a decade in The Netherlands about whether physicians should be allowed to provide assistance with suicide to older people who are 'weary of life'. Actual knowledge about these older people is missing in this debate. The purpose of this article is to explore and discuss the expectations older people who are 'weary of life' have of their future, and to what extent they perceive their suffering as hopeless. In this qualitative study, 31 older people who were 'weary of life' were interviewed. The results of this study show that most respondents who were 'weary of life' did not plan to end their life within a short time frame. The burden to their loved ones played a large role in their decision in addition to the awareness of still having reasons to live. Most respondents tried not to think too much about the future, and hoped death would come soon. Most respondents could not name a condition that would diminish their wish to die, that they also found desirable and feasible. The results of this study suggest that people who develop thoughts about death do so when they give up finding solutions to improve their situation.
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