ERIC Number: ED205852
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
On the Relationship Between Suicide-Prevention and Suicide-Advocacy Groups.
Battin, Margaret Pabst
Numerous advocacy groups concerned with "death with dignity" have formed in response to medical advances which extend the process of dying. Natural death legislation and the Living Will are but two examples of suicide advocacy for the terminally ill. These groups are emerging world-wide and range from conservative insistence on passive refusal of treatment to radical suicide advocacy and the establishment of new voluntary euthanasia societies in several countries. Suicidologists and suicide-prevention workers need not regard these groups as inimical to suicide prevention; the two kinds of groups can make important contributions to each other's work. Data gathered by suicidologists and those with clinical experience in suicide prevention may be able to determine the point at which, in the normal stages of dying, the terminally ill person may be most likely to attempt or commit suicide. However, suicide advocacy suggests that sometimes such attempts should not be interfered with, since effective suicide prevention in these cases may mean forcing an individual to stay alive in intolerable circumstances. Both suicide prevention and suicide advocacy are basically humanitarian-oriented; this commitment to the interests of individual human beings provides the basis for accommodation between the two. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Terminal Illness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Suicidology (14th, Albuquerque, NM, April 24-26, 1981). Best copy available.