Sunday, August 12, 2018

Suicide is not distinct from assisted suicide for psychiatric reasons

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Recent research by Dr Scott Kim et al, examines the position of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) who claim that there is a clear difference between suicide and assisted suicide.

The American Association of Suicidology accepted the false position of long-time assisted suicide activist Margaret Battin who wrote that suicide and assisted suicide are different acts done for different reasons. Battin is known for producing ideological studies that are not factually based. The assisted suicide lobby knows that assisted suicide becomes socially accepted when it is differentiated from suicide.

The study by Dr Kim, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan and a member of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institute of Health, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry (JAMA Psychiatry) analyzing the AAS position based on cases of euthanasia for psychiatric reasons in the Netherlands.

Kim suggests that the US states that have legalized assisted suicide claim to exclude assisted suicide for psychiatric reasons, but Kim says:

"it would have been quite understandable if the AAS had limited its statement to PAD for terminal illness especially since the organization is based in the United States (where Psychiatric PAD is not legal) and dedicated to preventing suicides (which occur mostly among persons with mental illness). Yet the AAS statement's support for PAD explicitly includes PAD of all types including PAD for non-terminally persons with psychiatric disorders."
Dr Scott Kim
Kim then challenges the position of the AAS based on their own description of suicide. He writes:

However juxtaposing the AAS statement's descriptions of "suicide in the ordinary, traditional sense" with the existing evidence on psychiatric PAD reveals that the features of persons who die by suicide that are said to distinguish them from persons who seek PAD for terminal illness are, in fact, featured by those who receive psychiatric PAD.
Kim then examines the comments from the AAS based on the reasons people ask for PAD. The research states:
...research shows that these common features of suicide are not only present in psychiatric PAD but are cited as justifications for PAD.
Kim then concludes his research by stating:
"In the debate about psychiatric PAD important considerations are raised by both sides. One of the most concerning is how the practice of psychiatric PAD will affect the longstanding societal commitment to the prevention of suicide. It should give us pause when a leading suicide prevention organization minimizes this problem while ignoring the evidence that psychiatric PAD is difficult to distinguish from suicide. Regardless of one's position on the policy debate, all sides should at least be committed to a more evidence based dialogue."
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1 comment:


This only goes to prove that any form of suicide, assisted or otherwise cannot be reasonably justified when the ruling motive of medicine must not be compomised, namely, the preservation of life.