New Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide (EAS) Briefing Paper: ‘Dignity in Living: Addressing Euthanasia by Affirming Patient Personhood in Dementia’, by Dr Pia Matthews

Our latest paper in our euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) series is ‘Dignity in Living: Addressing Euthanasia by Affirming Patient Personhood in Dementia’ by Dr Pia Matthews, Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University in Twickenham.

In her paper, Dr Matthews expounds the inclusive approach taken by the Alzheimer’s Society and others who serve people with dementia, so that people affected by that condition are supported, accepted and able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.

This is to change the fear-based narrative and ‘malignant social psychology’ that depersonalises people with dementia (as well as other conditions and disabilities), promoting and enabling unjust prejudice and discrimination and other abuses against people with dementia and their families, and reinforcing the false notion that EAS is the only solution to difficult medical situations.

Matthews shows how is is possible to live and die well with dementia, and that the alternative narrative of compassion and solidarity enshrines the real dignity deserving to those with dementia and their loved ones.

The papers in our EAS series clarify the issues at stake in the social, political, and medical discussion, examining the definitions concerning, and practical consequences of legalising physician involvement in assisting a patient to end their own life, or directly causing their death.

You can read our ongoing EAS briefing paper series on its dedicated page on our website, here.

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