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Position of the WORLD MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WMA) on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide – Chronological overview (1987-2019)

Position of the WORLD MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WMA) on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide – Chronological overview (1987-2019)

- Euthanasia and assisted suicide

In October 2019, the World Medical Association1 (WMA) adopted a declaration on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. This new declaration is an opportunity to analyze the documents successively adopted by the WMA on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in recent years, and to identify possible evolutions in this area. This Expert Flash reviews each of the relevant documents, and compares the terms used and positions adopted. It emerges that, while terms slightly vary, WMA's position remains stable and consistent in its opposition to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide from a medical ethics perspective.

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Death by Request in Switzerland: Post-traumatic stress disorder and complicated grief after witnessing assisted suicide

Switzerland - Death by Request in Switzerland: Post-traumatic stress disorder and complicated grief after witnessing assisted suicide

- Mental Health

A study conducted in Switzerland in December 2007 among 85 family members and friends who were present at an assisted suicide showed higher prevalence of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and complicated grief after witnessing assisted suicide than following a natural death. Switzerland is one of the few nations in which assisted suicide is legal. It is generally defined as the prescribing or supplying of drugs with the explicit intention of enabling the patient to end his or her own life. Despite the ongoing debate about assisted suicide, little research has been done on the impact on the loved ones of the dead. The study was conducted in cooperation with Exit Deutsche Schweiz, an organization that facilitates with assisted suicides. The loved ones contacted were found through the organization.
 
The trauma after witnessing an assisted suicide varies significantly from natural death or suicide. According to the study, this is because it often allows for the opportunity to say ...

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Dementia and end-of-life decisions : the Hastings Center is going to examine the question

United States - Dementia and end-of-life decisions : the Hastings Center is going to examine the question

- Mental Health

The senior population in the United States is growing, and as such, so is the number of cases of dementia. When a person has dementia, they experience the progressive impairment of cognitive facilities, including memory, problem solving and language. There is no cure yet for dementia and there is no effective way to halt its progression. As the condition progresses, the affected person requires daily assistance and eventually total care. Because dementia causes a loss of many cognitive capabilities, loss of ability to make decisions has caused discussion surrounding end-of-life and dementia. The Hastings Center, based in Garrison, New York, is going to conduct research into end-of-life practices for patients with dementia.

In the United States, a person has the right to refuse treatment. In most cases, this person must be able to make this decision on their own. People who have received a diagnosis of a degenerative disease, such as dementia, and who will lose their decision-making...

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