Navigation Links
Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law May Overlook Depressed Patients
Date:10/8/2008

Study finds 1 in 4 terminally ill not getting treatment that could influence decision

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law may not adequately protect the one in four terminally ill patients with clinical depression, a new study says.

The Death with Dignity Act was passed by the state in 1997, and there's been intense debate about the extent to which potentially treatable psychiatric disorders may influence a patient's decision to hasten death, according to a news release about the study, published online Oct. 8 by the British Medical Journal.

The act does contain several safeguards to ensure patients are competent to make the decision to end their life, including referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist, if there's concern that a mental illness may be impairing a patient's judgment. However, depression is often overlooked in mentally ill patients.

In 2007, none of the 46 people in Oregon who used physician-assisted suicide were evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist, the news release said.

For the new study, researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University checked for depression or anxiety in 58 terminally ill patients who'd requested physician-assisted suicide or had contacted an assisted death organization. Fifteen of the patients met the criteria for depression and 13 for anxiety.

By the end of the study, 42 patients had died. Of those, 18 received a prescription for a lethal medication, and nine died by lethal ingestion. Of those who received a prescription for a lethal medication, three met the criteria for depression. All three died by lethal ingestion within two months of being assessed by researchers.

While most patients who request physician-assisted suicide do not have a depressive disorder, the study authors suggested that "the current practice of Death with Dignity Act may not adequately protect all mentally ill patients." The authors called for "increased vigilance and systematic examination for depression among patients who may access legalized aid in dying."

While it's important to protect vulnerable patients, it can be difficult to determine if depression is impairing the judgment of terminally ill patients, Dr. Marije van der Lee, of the Helen Dowling Institute in the Netherlands, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

Depression doesn't necessarily impair judgment, van der Lee said. "We should focus on trying to 'protect' patients from becoming depressed in the first place, rather than focus on protecting patients from assisted suicide," she wrote.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has information about end-of-life issues.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: British Medical Journal, news release, Oct. 8, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Assisted Suicide Proponents Seek to Expand With New 1-800 Suicide Consultations
2. Revision: Ziehm Imaging and BrainLAB Announce Partnership for Intra-Operative 3D Imaging and Computer Assisted Surgery (CAS)
3. Californians Against Assisted Suicide: Assisted Suicide Study From Biased Author is Questionable at Best
4. Vulnerable groups are not at higher risk of physician-assisted death
5. Assisted Suicide Wont Up Deaths for Vulnerable Groups: Study
6. American Humane Association Adds Direct Services in Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy
7. Turning Pointe Therapeutic Riding Recognized for Excellence in Providing Equine-Assisted Therapies to People with Disabilities
8. Play by Steve Nash, Assisted by Milk
9. CoolTouch Introduces CoolLipo(TM) Laser System, Recently FDA Cleared for Laser-Assisted Lipolysis
10. Assisted Living Federation Challenges Presidential Candidates
11. Peninsula United Methodist Homes Completes Enterprise-Wide Deployment of AccuNurse Voice-Assisted Care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law May Overlook Depressed Patients
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people ... how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing ... their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches ... success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in ... than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Consumers have taken a more ... placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved beyond just ... companies are focusing on becoming more patient-oriented across ... and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dublin ... addition of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy ... This report focuses on the ... review, including its applications in various applications. The report ... includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ANDOVER, Mass. and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. ... California -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now ... portable PFT devices developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... PFT testing done in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ... CA , can get any needed testing done in the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: