Psychologists' views on rational suicide assessment of the terminally-ill



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Texas Tech University


Since passage of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act (Oregon Right to Die, 1994), recommendations have been needed for the role of psychologists in legal assisted-suicide. Guidelines have been outlined (Werth & Gordon, 1998; Werth, Benjamin, & Farrenkopf, 2000), but psychologists' awareness of them has been uncertain. Of 75 licensed Oregon psychologists surveyed, generally less than half indicated recommended instruments for depression, hopelessness, and competency assessment. Participants appeared almost equally divided in their emphasis of psychological over physical criteria in the assessment of Major Depressive Disorder. Importance ratings of laws significantly predicted participants' willingness to participate in assisted-suicide assessment. Finally, the majority of participants believed that physicians find their recommendations less than or equal to "Very" important



Mental -- Diagnosis, Depression, Psychologists -- Oregon -- Attitudes, Assisted suicide -- Law and legislation -- Oregon