assisted suicide

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Related to assisted suicide: euthanasia, Physician assisted suicide


the taking of one's own life; also any person who voluntarily and intentionally takes his or her own life. Legally, a death suspected of being due to violence that is self-inflicted is not termed a suicide unless there is positive evidence of the victim's intent to destroy himself or herself, or the method of death is such that a verdict of suicide is inevitable. This means that many deaths that would be termed suicide according to medicopsychological criteria are reported as accidental or from undetermined cause. The difficulty of positively identifying a death as suicide is further complicated by the complexities of determining true intent and the psychological motivation one may have had for ending one's own life.

Incidence: Statistical evidence of the actual suicide rate for a specific population is difficult to compile because of the ambiguity of the term, a lack of criteria by which a death may be judged suicidal, and a lack of agreement among those reporting deaths as to what does, indeed, constitute a suicide. Existing data are as follows: Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for males and the 19th leading cause for females. It is the third leading cause of death among persons 15 to 24 years of age, according to the national institutes of mental health. The group with the highest suicide rate is white men over age 85. Other high-risk groups include the elderly, the sick, and the mentally ill. There is a tendency of suicides to occur in families, but there is no evidence of a genetically determined suicidal behavior pattern. There are also seasonal fluctuations in suicide rates, with the highest number occurring in the spring.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has developed a policy for the prevention of suicide. It includes as essential components of suicide prevention the following measures: educating professionals in recognition and treatment of individuals at risk; educating society that such individuals are suffering from a medical condition that must be recognized and treated rather than stigmatized, and that effective treatments are available; and educating survivors of suicide attempts about the resources available to them. Other recommendations include: improved methods of detecting individuals at highest risk for completed suicide; improved treatment interventions for high risk patients; responsible gun control legislation; education of media and mental health professionals in order to reduce inaccurate or sensational media coverage of suicide; and improvement of palliative care for seriously or terminally ill patients (including through education and legislation) so that suicide does not seem to be their only option. Depression screening should be a routine assessment for every clinician. Research is essential in developing, testing, and implementing treatment approaches to patients at risk for suicide, as well as developing prevention strategies that have been shown to be effective or appear likely to be effective.
assisted suicide suicide with the help of another person, such as when an incurably ill patient intentionally ingests a toxic substance or an overdose of a medication that was prescribed; the choice to die must always be made by the patient. See also euthanasia.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

assisted suicide

Suicide committed with the aid of another person, sometimes a physician.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

assisted suicide

(1) Physician-assisted suicide, see there.
(2) Any suicide in which a second party participates in the act.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

assisted suicide

1. Physician-assisted suicide, see there. See Double effect.
2. Any suicide with a 2nd party participant.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Assisted suicide

A form of self-inflicted death in which a person voluntarily brings about his or her own death with the help of another, usually a physician, relative, or friend.
Mentioned in: Suicide
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In many states, there is a real risk that assisted suicide will expand to apply to the incompetent.
Furthermore, according to ( My Death - My Decision , the patient does not have to be terminally ill or have to meet certain life expectancy limits for a Swiss doctor to aid in assisted suicide by prescribing a lethal medication.
Tennessee Joins National Debate on Assisted Suicide. (2015) Tennessean 8 June.
The latest challenge to the law banning assisted suicide was launched on behalf of two BC women, Kay Carter and Gloria Taylor, who have both since died.
She uses the term "physician assisted suicide." "Euthanasia" is the appropriate term.
This ensures that cases of assisted suicide are rare - less than 20 cases a year cross the desk of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the whole of England and Wales.
CATHOLIC DEMOCRATS representing blue-collar constituencies sponsored legislation banning assisted suicide each year from 1992 to 1996.
None of the gruesome consequences predicted when Oregonians approved their assisted suicide law have come to pass.
"The policy does not change the law on assisted suicide. It does not open the door for euthanasia.
The problem is that I smell a rat at how many celebrities are behind the push for euthanasia and assisted suicide, and how the media and television are being manipulated or perhaps gladly manipulated, towards these dangerous ideas.
Currently, anyone helping a terminally ill person who has chosen to travel abroad to have an assisted suicide is liable to 14 years imprisonment.
Almost half (49%) of the RCN's members who responded to the organisation's consultation said they supported assisted suicide, while two out of five (40%) said they were against it.

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