Physician aid-in-dying and suicide prevention in psychiatry: a moral crisis?

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College Medicine
Department Psychiatry
Creator Kious, Brent M.
Other Author Margaret. P. Battin
Title Physician aid-in-dying and suicide prevention in psychiatry: a moral crisis?
Date 2019
Description Involuntary psychiatric commitment for suicide prevention and physician aid-in-dying (PAD) in terminal illness combine to create a moral dilemma. If PAD in terminal illness is permissible, it should also be permissible for some who suffer from non-terminal psychiatric illness: suffering provides much of the justification for PAD, and the suffering in mental illness can be as severe as in physical illness. But involuntary psychiatric commitment to prevent suicide suggests that the suffering of persons with mental illness does not justify ending their own lives, ruling out PAD. Since both practices have compelling underlying justifications, the most reasonable accommodation might seem to be to allow PAD for persons with mental illness whose suffering is severe enough to justify self-killing, but prohibit PAD for persons whose suffering is less severe. This compromise, however, would require the articulation of standards by which persons' mental as well as physical suffering could be evaluated. Doing so would present a serious philosophical challenge.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Journal Title The American Journal of Bioethics
Volume 19
Issue 10
First Page 9
Last Page 36
Subject suicide; physician aid-in-dying; psychiatry; civil commitment; mental illness; competence; suffering
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Taylor & Francis
Rights License
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s64j53w2
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2019-09-30
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 1462435
Reference URL
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