Suicide and the terminally ill

From On Death and Dying By Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (Scribner)

(Suicide and Terminal Illness chapter, pages 52-53):

“Patients who do consider suicide fall into different categories:

1. Those who have a strong need to be in control of everything and everybody.

2. Those who are told cruelly that they have a malignancy and ‘there is nothing else we can do for you because you came too late for help.’

3. Patients in the dialyses programs and/or potential organ-transplant patients who have been given too much hope and an unrealistic assessment of their condition, have a tendency to suddenly give up hope and often die of what we call a ‘passive suicide.’

4. Those patients who are neglected, isolated, and deserted, and received inadequate medical, emotional, or spiritual help in this crisis.

The last group of terminally ill patients who may take their own lives are those who are usually not conventionally religious, but have accepted their finiteness and would rather shorten the process of dying than linger on for another few weeks or months in what they regard as useless suffering.”





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