Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physician-assisted Suicide Does Not Increase Severity Of Depression, Grief Among Family Members, Study Finds

Date:
September 30, 2009
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Unlike other forms of suicide, physician assisted death does not cause substantial regret, or a sense of rejection among surviving family members, a new study finds. In addition, the prevalence and severity of depression and grief among family members whose loved ones received aid in dying is no different than family members whose loved ones did not pursue physician assisted suicide.

Unlike other forms of suicide, physician assisted death does not cause substantial regret, or a sense of rejection among surviving family members. In addition, the prevalence and severity of depression and grief among family members whose loved ones received aid in dying is no different than family members whose loved ones did not pursue physician assisted suicide. These findings are the result of a study conducted by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and published online this week in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Related Articles


"Grief following the death of a loved one can be persistent, painful and debilitating," said Linda Ganzini, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine and lead author of the research paper. "Prior studies on suicides indicate high levels of shame, guilt, stigma and sense of rejection in surviving family members. However, until now, little was known about mental health outcomes in the family members of a patient who receives physician aid in dying. Based on our research, we know that family members of loved ones who pursue physician assisted suicide do not have different prevalence and severity of depression and prolonged grief compared to the general population."

To conduct the study, researchers surveyed 95 family members whose loved ones requested aid in dying through Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. This group included 59 family members whose loved one received a lethal prescription and 36 whose loved one died by lethal ingestion. The researchers compared this information with responses received from 63 family members whose loved one had died from cancer or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and had not requested aid in dying.

In comparing survey results, the researchers found that the rate of grief and depression between these two groups was nearly identical. However, family members of loved ones who requested a lethal prescription indicated they felt more prepared for and more accepting of the death.

Among family members whose loved one requested but did not receive a lethal prescription, there was greater likelihood that the family members had regrets about how their loved one died. This group also was less likely to confirm that the patient's preferences for care were honored, and they gave a lower rating for overall quality of care the last week of life.

"One of the other interesting findings in this research was the fact that families often had shared views when it came to the acceptability of physician aid in dying," added Ganzini. "When we communicated with the family members of those who received aid in dying, 98 percent said they would consider physician assisted suicide for themselves."

This research was funded by the Greenwall Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "Physician-assisted Suicide Does Not Increase Severity Of Depression, Grief Among Family Members, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930165032.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2009, September 30). Physician-assisted Suicide Does Not Increase Severity Of Depression, Grief Among Family Members, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930165032.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "Physician-assisted Suicide Does Not Increase Severity Of Depression, Grief Among Family Members, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930165032.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins