Associations Between Assisted Suicide and Depression

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Assisted Suicide Study Questions Its Use for Mentally Ill is a published article by The New York Times author, Benedict Carey. Carey references a 2016 study conducted by psychiatrist Scott Y. H.

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Kim, MD, PhD, in the JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry titled, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide of Patients With Psychiatric Disorders in the Netherlands 2011 to 2014 (Carey, 2016). In the article, Benedict Carey assesses and summarizes the studyr’s findings, claiming practices in the Netherlands for assisted suicide are questionable at best (Carey, 2016). According to Carey, the study gathered medical records and documentation from 2011-2014, where 66 patients had chosen doctor facilitated suicide, many who suffered from multiple psychiatric disorders and refused further treatment that may have benefited them (Carey, 2016). Patients requesting euthanasia reported loneliness and an inability to cope with untreatable illnesses (Carey, 2016). Women comprised a majority of the cases, and many of them were over 60 years old (Carey, 2016). Although depression was a factor, Carey cites that other problems such as personality disorders, autism, substance abuse, and eating disorders were combined with other physical diagnoses (Carey, 2016). The main problem with these cases were the way in which they were evaluated by medical doctors and psychiatrists. Several doctors disagreed with their patientr’s desire for assisted suicide, which prompted severe cases to seek an alternative route via mobile end-of-life clinics, where patients would get assistance from doctors they had never seen before (Carey, 2016). Most, if not all, of these doctors were not trained psychiatrists and did not have the ability to fully assess their patientr’s mental health before approving euthanasia (Carey, 2016). Benedict Carey concludes that although other countries allow assisted suicide for patients with mental illnesses and a variety of other disorders, the United States only allows this choice in five states (Carey, 2016). The main difference between the United States and countries like the Netherlands is criteria for assisted suicide is evaluated only with mentally competent, terminally ill adults (Carey, 2016).

The timeliness of this article is recent, as it was published in 2016. The information is relatively current, but the study the article references was updated and published under a different title. Since more people are seeking assisted suicide yearly, there have been several new studies published to evaluate the significance and associations between mental illness and assisted suicide requests. This topic is expanded in further research articles to evaluate the specifics of psychiatric disorders and terminal illnesses, and whether practitioners can make clear and ethical decisions when patients want to end their lives. This article is not sufficient to form an opinion based on the amount of research provided. A more current peer-reviewed journal in combination with other research would be a better option.

Although the article mentions depression,

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