Rational Suicide and the Right to Die: Reality and Myth
Caine, Eric D.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1991 Oct 10; 325(15): 1100-1103.
...We applaud the growing attention to the right to die, rational suicide, and physician-assisted suicide. We believe, however, that attention to the effects of psychiatric illness on rational decision making is notably lacking from the debate. Furthermore, research and our clinical work have made it clear to us that many doctors on the front lines, who would be responsible for implementing any policy that allowed assisted suicide, are ill equipped to assess the presence and effect of depressive illness in older patients. In the absence of that sophisticated understanding, the determination of a suicidal person's "rationality" can be no more than speculation, subject to the influence of personal biases about aging, old age, and the psychological effects of chronic disease....
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