The debate on different forms of request of death has taken on a broad dimension in public opinion over last years, often referring on profoundly differentiated and often opposing positions of principle. Beyond cultural, political or ideal positions, a further critical issue, often underestimated or quite not considered, concerns a person’s ability to express a valid consent to the request of death, according to the same criteria of validity of the informed consent to any medical act. This assumes particular importance in the case of assisted suicide. Assisted suicide represents a phenomenon in sharp growth in Western world. It is legal in many nations, and in Switzerland it is also allowed for foreign citizens, thus increasing the phenomenon of the so-called “tourism of suicide”. In addition to neoplastic and neurological diseases, depression has also been accepted as a disease that makes assisted suicide possible. This imposes profound clinical and ethical considerations, since depression is unanimously recognized as a treatable disease and since in its most serious forms, such as those in which suicidal ideation dominates, it can compromise the patient’s ability to express a valid consent to any medical act, including the assisted suicide. Furthermore, it is often overlooked that any serious and disabling somatic disease, source of intense and chronic suffering, carries the very high risk of the onset of unrecognized depressive conditions, able in turn to negatively influence the ability to express valid consent. Faced with this situation, which has involved a large number of Italian citizens in recent years, the personal and official voice of psychiatry is absolutely lacking, contrasting its silence with the opinions of those who do not want to take into account its potentially fundamental considerations.

The assisted suicide of Italians in Switzerland and the silence of psychiatry / Bersani, Giuseppe; Rinaldi, Raffaella; Iannitelli, Angela. - In: RIVISTA DI PSICHIATRIA. - ISSN 2038-2502. - STAMPA. - 53:4(2018), pp. 173-176. [10.1708/2954.29693]

The assisted suicide of Italians in Switzerland and the silence of psychiatry

Bersani, Giuseppe
;
Rinaldi, Raffaella;Iannitelli, Angela
2018

Abstract

The debate on different forms of request of death has taken on a broad dimension in public opinion over last years, often referring on profoundly differentiated and often opposing positions of principle. Beyond cultural, political or ideal positions, a further critical issue, often underestimated or quite not considered, concerns a person’s ability to express a valid consent to the request of death, according to the same criteria of validity of the informed consent to any medical act. This assumes particular importance in the case of assisted suicide. Assisted suicide represents a phenomenon in sharp growth in Western world. It is legal in many nations, and in Switzerland it is also allowed for foreign citizens, thus increasing the phenomenon of the so-called “tourism of suicide”. In addition to neoplastic and neurological diseases, depression has also been accepted as a disease that makes assisted suicide possible. This imposes profound clinical and ethical considerations, since depression is unanimously recognized as a treatable disease and since in its most serious forms, such as those in which suicidal ideation dominates, it can compromise the patient’s ability to express a valid consent to any medical act, including the assisted suicide. Furthermore, it is often overlooked that any serious and disabling somatic disease, source of intense and chronic suffering, carries the very high risk of the onset of unrecognized depressive conditions, able in turn to negatively influence the ability to express valid consent. Faced with this situation, which has involved a large number of Italian citizens in recent years, the personal and official voice of psychiatry is absolutely lacking, contrasting its silence with the opinions of those who do not want to take into account its potentially fundamental considerations.
assisted suicide; depression; Switzerland
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
The assisted suicide of Italians in Switzerland and the silence of psychiatry / Bersani, Giuseppe; Rinaldi, Raffaella; Iannitelli, Angela. - In: RIVISTA DI PSICHIATRIA. - ISSN 2038-2502. - STAMPA. - 53:4(2018), pp. 173-176. [10.1708/2954.29693]
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Bersani_Suicidio-assistito_2018.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 55.67 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
55.67 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri PDF

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1165361
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 6
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact