Assisted suicide: a decision-making guide for health professionals

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Jossey-Bass, Nov 3, 1997 - Medical - 248 pages
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How should you respond when your patient asks for aid in dying?

This groundbreaking book is a much needed guide to the difficult and complex issue of assisted dying. Written with compassion and understanding, this is the first work to offer physicians and mental health professionals specific, concrete guidelines on counseling and assisting patients who are considering suicide. Based on his extensive experience with hundreds of patients, Stephen Jamison provides a balanced, well reasoned approach to this morally difficult situation. He leads you through the decision making process in a step-by-step manner, and provides a range of options, guidelines, and tools to help you.

This book provides you with a thoughtful and compassionate understanding as you

  • become aware of the range of ethical, emotional, and practical concerns surrounding assisted dying
  • understand more clearly your own thoughts and feelings about death and dying, and feel more comfortable with your own position regarding assisted dying
  • comprehAnd more precisely the actual meaning of a patient's expressed desire to die

Filled with suggestions, criteria, and techniques, Assisted Suicide will prove to be an invaluable aid when discussing this difficult issue with incurable and terminal patients, and their families and friAnds.

The Author

Stephen Jamison is president of the Mental Health Association of Marin County. He lives in Mill Valley, California.

Contents

1. The Ethical Debate

2. When a Patient Says I Want to Die

3. Responding to Requests for Help

4. Understanding Family Dynamics

5. Working Through the Choices

6. The Final Decision

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Contents

The Ethical Debate
19
When a Patient Says I Want to Die
49
Responding to Requests for Help
78
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About the author (1997)

STEPHEN JAMISON, a social psychologist, is former president of the Mental Health Association of Marin County, California, and director of Life and Death Consultations in Mill Valley, California. He is adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of Final Acts of Love: Families, FriAnds, and Assisted Dying.

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