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

ients." 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


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