Potential psychodynamic factors in physician-assisted suicide

Stephen H. Dinwiddie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A number of assumptions underlying the debate over physician-assisted suicide (PAS) deserve closer scrutiny. It is often implicitly assumed that decisions as to the competency of the patient to request PAS can be accurately made, and that the treating physician's values and intrapsychic conflicts can be successfully separated from the decision to accede to or reject the patient's request. This article argues that in such an emotionally-laden decision, such factors may play a significant role, and that even were PAS to gain widespread acceptance, ignoring them may lead to errors in classifying patients either as appropriate or inappropriate for PAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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