Trajectories to seeking demedicalised assistance in suicide: a qualitative in-depth interview study

Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (8):543-548 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Background In the Netherlands, people can receive (limited) demedicalised assistance in suicide (DAS)—an option less well known than physician-assisted dying (PAD). Aim This study explores which trajectories people take to seek DAS, through open-coding and inductive analysis of in-depth interviews with 17 people who receive(d) DAS from counsellors facilitated by foundation De Einder. Results People sought DAS as a result of current suffering or as a result of anticipating possible prospective suffering. People with current suffering were unable or assumed they would be unable to obtain PAD. For people anticipating possible prospective suffering, we distinguished two trajectories. In one trajectory, people preferred PAD but were not reassured of help by the physician in due time and sought DAS as a backup plan. In the other trajectory, people expressed a preference for DAS mainly as a result of emphasising self-determination, independence, taking their own responsibility and preparing suicide carefully. In all trajectories, dissatisfaction with physician–patient communication—for instance about (a denied request for) PAD or fearing to discuss this—influenced the decision to seek DAS. Conclusions While PAD is the preferred option of people in two trajectories, obtaining PAD is uncertain and not always possible. Dissatisfaction with physician–patient communication can result in the physician not being involved in DAS, being unable to diagnose diseases and offer treatment nor offer reassurance that people seem to seek. We plea for more mutual understanding, respect and empathy for the limitations and possibilities of the position of the physician and the patient in discussing assistance in dying.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,252

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Ten standard Objections to Qualitative Research Interviews.Steinar Kvale - 1994 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 25 (2):147-173.
The case for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.Robin Gibson - 2013 - The Australian Humanist 109 (109):11.
Depression and Suicide are Natural Kinds: Implications for Physician-Assisted Suicide.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2013 - International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 36 (5-6):461-470.
Framing a phenomenological interview: what, why and how.Simon Høffding & Kristian Martiny - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (4):539-564.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-10-25

Downloads
22 (#673,588)

6 months
8 (#303,628)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?