Assisted suicide and euthanasia : what about the clinical issues ?
This paper aims to address the clinical issues involved in a patient's request for assisted suicide.
The psychiatric and broader psychosocial issues for the dying patient, their family and their treating doctor have been largely un-addressed in the debate concerning euthanasia to date.
A range of the clinical issues that need to be incorporated in the ethical and legal considerations are reviewed.
The reasons for a patient seeking suicide as a treatment are complex and go beyond questions of a patient's right to die.
The request for euthanasia needs to be seen in the context of the patient's circumstances, including relationships with and attitudes of carers and health professionals, along with patterns of psychiatric disorder and psychiatric symptoms in the medically ill.
The clinical issues involve not only the diagnosis or management of psychiatric disorder but also the acknowledgment of the factors influencing an individual's adjustment to the threat of illness and death.
The dynamics of family interactions and doctor-patient relationships in this setting are factors that may impinge upon a request for assistance to die.
These factors may be more important than the severity of a person's illness or their quality of life, and are less likely to be recognised and addressed in situations of professional isolation.
There are critical issues facing psychiatry in new legislative developments.
Mots-clés Pascal : Etude comparative, Euthanasie, Motivation, Diagnostic, Trouble psychiatrique, Personnel sanitaire, Relation médecin malade, Relation familiale, Interaction sociale, Prise décision, Homme, Suicide assisté
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Comparative study, Euthanasia, Motivation, Diagnosis, Mental disorder, Health staff, Physician patient relation, Familial relation, Social interaction, Decision making, Human, Assisted suicide
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0323447
Code Inist : 002A26N05. Création : 10/04/1997.