Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. On this day in particular, it is an important duty that as a society we examine the potential and actual causes of suicidal ideation, and the best means of preventing suicide.
In the light of that duty and the spirit of this day, we would like to highlight an important paper published last year about the relationship between euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) and rates of (‘non-assisted’) suicide more broadly, as an important contribution to discussions on the dangers of legalising physician involvement in enabling or causing the death of their patients.
Our Director, Professor David Albert Jones, was a co-author on that paper, but the main author was Dr Anne Doherty, Associate Professor and consultant on Psychiatry at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin. You can see her being interviewed by her colleague Professor Patricia Casey on her findings, below:
This interview was first shown live at ‘Suicide Prevention and Assisted Suicide: Legal, Clinical and Ethical Perspectives’, a Conference held in Oxford one year ago in which the empirical evidence concerning this connection was particularly examined.
The issue of the connection between EAS and suicide rates had also been highlighted in a briefing paper by Professor Jones earlier that year, one of a series of briefing papers on assisted suicide or euthanasia which the Anscombe Centre has been publishing starting in 2021.
Speaking on World Suicide Prevention Day itself, Professor David Albert Jones, Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, said:
‘We all have times of great stress; hearing news we have dreaded hearing is one of these. But it is encouraging how many come through their challenges and find some way to make the best of the time they (and we each) have left. Even in the worst of times most people find a way through, and we need to find ways to support each person in achieving this. Where there is life there is hope.’
Notes to Editors:
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