American Psychiatric Association Expresses Opposition to Assisted Suicide for Mentally Ill

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has released a formal position statement expressing opposition to assisted suicide in cases where the patient is not terminally ill.

According to reports, the statement was approved this month by the APA’s board of trustees after being passed last month by the general assembly.

“The American Psychiatric Association, in concert with the American Medical Association’s position on medical euthanasia, holds that a psychiatrist should not prescribe or administer any intervention to a non-terminally ill person for the purpose of causing death,” it states.

The assembly had discussed concerns about current practices in the Netherlands and Belgium, where euthanasia is permitted for those who are mentally ill.

“So far, no other country that has implemented physician-assisted suicide has been able to constrain its application solely to the terminally ill, eventually including non-terminal patients as legally eligible as well,” Dr. Mark Komrad of the APA ethics committee told BioEdge. “This is when psychiatric patients start to be included.”

He expressed worriment that the United States and Canada could go the way of Europe. Canadian leaders are currently pondering “requests made by individuals with mental illness as their sole underlying condition.”

“[W]hy should they stop the chronically depressed [from euthanasia] because they have ‘good days and bad days?’ Even on the good days, I know the bad days are coming,” wrote Graeme Bayliss of The Walrus in April. Bayliss suffers from depression.

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Like some who argue in favor of keeping abortion legal because women will otherwise take the practice into their own hands, Bayliss said that not legalizing euthanasia for the mentally ill leaves them to have to commit suicide by themselves.

“And so, for those unlucky few who have tried everything and decided that a life mired in oppressive and unremitting sadness is no life at all: rope, razor blades, pills; bridges, subways, skyscrapers; an emissions-happy car and a length of hose. Those are the choices that Trudeau has left us with,” he remarked.

But the APA said in its resolution that “A fundamental and critical ethos of psychiatrists is to prevent suicide,” as well as “to help patients find alternative paths through suffering to a better future, and to even find meaning in suffering.”

As previously reported, earlier this year, a Dutch man who struggled with depression and became addicted to alcohol in trying to deal with the condition died by assisted suicide.

“My brother suffered from depression and anxiety and tried to ‘cure’ it with alcohol. He’s from a normal family, he did not want this to happen. He did not take an easy way out. Just a humane one,” Mark Langedijk’s brother, Marcel Langedijk, wrote in a blog post. “Alcoholism and depression are illnesses, just like cancer. People who suffer from it need a humane way out.”

But others opined that the way out should not be suicide.

“What someone suffering from alcoholism needs is support and treatment to get better from their addiction, which can be provided—not to be euthanized,” British MP Fiona Bruce, who also serves as co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, told the Daily Mail. “It is once again a troubling sign of how legalized euthanasia undermines in other countries the treatment and help the most vulnerable should receive.”


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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    America’s Christian conscience stil active. Who is truly worthy to live, if defenseless weaker segment of society should be eliminated? People sound monstrous in talking about how they could live well for long while killing the unborns and the too sick and the too old. Living out is God’s will for His creatures. (Genesis 1) If people try to do the best to live together instead of taking the Nazi method, mental illness will be reduced instead of increasing.

    • Croquet_Player

      No one at all is suggesting assisted suicide for the merely very ill. We are talking about people in the very last stages of confirmed terminal illnesses, who simply wish to spare themselves a few more weeks or months of total agony. It must be reviewed by a panel of doctors on an ethics committee. No pressure from anyone, entirely the patient’s decision. If you do not understand this, then you do not understand what people in end-of-life stages must endure. It is ghastly. And, people are already doing it, but badly. They deny themselves pain medications for the last few weeks in order to have enough pills saved up to carry themselves off. Or, much worse, as guns are so prevalent, they shoot themselves, which is understandable, but horrifying for those who find them, and for the entire family. Or they shoot themselves and fail to kill themselves, which is even indescribably worse.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        That’s not what this news is about. I understand some cases are indeed very hard, but people should try to live and let live, not jumping into “easy” death. Terminally ill people need to hear the Gospel and get saved instead of hurrying into death or made that way by others. God’s mercy is even upon every dying creature. Man must never hurry to death or be made that way, somehow.

        • Croquet_Player

          I don’t think you do “understand some cases are indeed very hard”, or you wouldn’t have so callously described assisted suicide as “jumping into “easy” death.” It certainly isn’t “easy”. If you’re against assisted suicide, fine, don’t make that choice for yourself. But you have no right to make the decision for others. It’s an entirely private matter, between terminally ill patients and their doctors.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. There are numerous people who desire to die even without terminal illnesses. People must get educated to live out and not die. God always gives hope to anyone. This kind of practice will lead into legal suicide to any wishers, and the authorities will encourage even children to do so if the world continues. We know it by seeing how fast the immorality spread in secular nations. Immoral people do not value life, be it self’s or others.’ Mankind must get educated to value life unconditionally, not the other way around.

          • Croquet_Player

            “There are numerous people who desire to die even without terminal illnesses.” Yes there are, but we’re not talking about suicidal people. We’re talking about people who are in the very end stages of terminal illnesses. It should be entirely obvious, but just to be clear these people are not “suicidal” in the common meaning of the term. If they had the option, they would rather recover from their terminal illnesses, and continue leading their formerly healthy lives. Unfortunately that option is not available. These people are going to die, in a matter of weeks or a few months, often in indescribably agonizing pain and loss of personal autonomy and dignity. To withhold medication which can, if they so choose, quietly end their lives, is nothing less than torture.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            This news is not about terminally ill, but mentally ill people. How do they know if they want to put an end to life if they are mentally ill? And even with terminally ill people, suicidal thing must not be conducted. The course of God’s creation takes on each creature’s life, without people planning to end their own life. The physical body knows its limit. Assisted suicide de-values all forms of life. Such thing must not happen.
            “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? ” (Job chaper 10)

          • Croquet_Player

            This news is precisely about the terminally ill, and no one else. Re-read the article.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Some people may refuse to take certain medical procedures; but foundationally it is wrong to allow people commit suicide. People should do the best to live and let live. Period.

          • Croquet_Player

            Yes people need to live and let live, and some of us also believe that it is needless and unforgivable torture to force a terminally ill patient to suffer for additional weeks or months when they don’t wish to. You may make end-of-life choices for yourself. You have no right to make them for other people.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            It’s not ours to decide. Attempt to live and let live is given by God for honest mankind and as an objective truth for everyone. Suicide is wrong for everyone; so is assisted suicide.

          • Croquet_Player

            You are attempting to make the decision for other people. You have no right to do so, whatever your religious beliefs are.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Christianity alone values life. Christians are taught to evangelize and teach people to follow Christ.

          • Croquet_Player

            You may hold whatever beliefs you like. No one else is obligated to follow your religion.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The field of medicine must follow the Christian ethics, or they will murder innocent people at the end.

          • Croquet_Player

            “Must”? Who are you to tell other people what they “must” do? You seem to have a highly over-inflated and warped idea of your own rights as they relate to other people.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Read the Book of Deuteronomy. God commands people to choose life. Secular West tells people to conduct abnormal immorality. You must stop telling me what to do. Read the Word of God and repent of your sin to get saved.

          • Croquet_Player

            “You must stop telling me what to do.” I see, but it’s fine for you to tell others what to do. Please. What a laugh.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            What I tell you to do is right. What you tell me to do is wrong. That’s the difference.

          • Croquet_Player

            You’ll note I haven’t told you to “do” anything. You may do whatever you like. I’m simply pointing out that you have no right to tell others what to do.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            No, I have a holy Christian duty to tell you what to do. Read Matthew chapter 28.

          • Croquet_Player

            You may attempt to tell me what to do all you like. You simply have no right to do so. Get used to being entirely ignored.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            I do have rights to tell you what to do. You reply me, so you are obligated to listen to me. Read the Holy Bible. I’m saying this to rescue you. You write me to ridicule me, but I write to bless you. That’s the difference. I love you in Christ and pray for you, too – for your salvation. God’s truth is the highest blessing for you to have.

          • Croquet_Player

            “I do have rights to tell you what to do.” And this is where you fall into total delusion.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You need truth and life, whether you like it or not. Your preference is absultely meaningless to the existence of truth and to your wellness. Your blind eye just needs opening. You must repent of your godless unbelief to live.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are spiritually dead. Choose life by listening to God. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to
            you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has
            everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from
            death into life. Most
            assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead
            will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” ( John chapter 5)

          • Croquet_Player

            You may quote scripture all you like to me, but as I said, I’ve already read it. And your opinion of my “spiritual life” means nothing at all to me. But thanks for demonstrating the typical offensive behavior that inevitably results when a religious person with rigid views encounters someone who doesn’t think exactly like they do. You’ll note I haven’t been proselytizing to you, because I think you may believe what you like. It’s a shame you can’t manage the same courtesy to others, but it’s unsurprising.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You need to read the Holy Bible again to remember anything; then you will come to Christian sites not to bully Christians but to find out the truth and facts. Americans fathers taught mankind not to get bullied by the godless secularists. You guys should learn something valuable from the American Christians.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            “For He(God) repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way. Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert justice. …If He should set His heart on it, if He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.” ( Job chapter 34)

  • Croquet_Player

    I find it interesting that the Christian News network promotes this opinion by the American Psychiatric Association, but completely ignores their opinions on homosexuality and “treatments” for LGBT people. For the record, I agree with the APA. Assisted suicide must be reserved only for the terminally ill, at the very end of their lives, and only approved by a group of doctors who must ethically guard against ill-intentioned family members or others. It is an entirely personal decision. If it were up to me, I would far prefer to quietly check out early, and not go through six weeks to six months of of pure torture. And I think anyone who denies dying people this right is an advocate of torture. I will spare you the details, but both my parents, after leading full and happy productive lives, had agonizing lingering deaths. These are harsh realities. Pain medications can only do so much. Had this been available at the time, I know they both would have availed themselves of the opportunity. I wish that upon no one, neither the dying, nor their loving relatives.

    • Oboehner

      You mean opinions brought by coercion? Nobody seems to know why the woman who identifies as a cat is nuts, but the woman who thinks she’s a guy is perfectly normal.

      • Jenny Ondioline

        Because the woman who believes herself to be male is not saying she is a different SPECIES.

        • Oboehner

          And the difference would be?

          • Jenny Ondioline

            It isn’t incredibly obvious to you? What human being has experience with another species?

          • Oboehner

            What male has ever given birth?

          • Jenny Ondioline

            Why is it necessary to have given birth to feel that you are female?

          • Oboehner

            The same reason it’s necessary to be the same species to feel that you are a cat.

          • Jenny Ondioline

            We are all born with masculine and feminine traits and aspects. But that’s more of that science-y stuff you have no need of.

          • Oboehner

            We are all born with many traits, try again. Sad little attempted dig at the end, “But that’s more of that science-y stuff you have no need of.”

          • Jenny Ondioline

            No, I am speaking speaking specifically of the masculine and feminine aspects in ALL of us. As in, we all have elements of both. This is psych 101, which is, as I said, a science, which I’m sure I don’t need to point out to you, you have been battling on this forum for years. You yourself have talked about “roles”, the butch lesbian and effeminate gay man. You think those things are acts?

          • Oboehner

            “No, I am speaking speaking specifically” I see a topic change here, you obviously can’t refute what I said.

            “You think those things are acts?” Absolutely, I have witnessed it first-hand, learned behavior.

          • Jenny Ondioline

            I am STILL speaking specifically. Do you know what estrogen and testosterone are? Why don’t you go look them up, assuming you aren’t concerned that using a dictionary is an appeal to authority?

            After you’re done that, why don’t you try to find something produced by the human body that gets in touch with its feline side?

          • Oboehner

            I found it!! The brain, just like when some guy thinks he’s a woman.

          • Jenny Ondioline

            Ah, and now you are a specialist in neuroscience. Well, just enough to shut it all down as popular opinion.
            Estrogen and testosterone, though. Hmmm. Do they exist, or must we also wave them away because Satan?

          • Oboehner

            Doesn’t take a PhD in botany to see the grass is green. All that “common ancestor” crap you yammer on about, maybe the cat woman has some residual feline DNA.

          • Jenny Ondioline

            No, the cat lady is crazy, or starved for attention. She can be shut down in the blink of an eye with science. We didn’t evolve from felines.

          • Oboehner

            If the cat lady is crazy, so is EVERY whack-job who thinks they are another gender than that of birth, after all what is Obama doing attempting to force doctors to do hormone therapy if the afore-mentioned whack-job already has what they need to be “transgender”?
            You have proof we didn’t “evolve” from felines? You were there? I’ll be happy to look over any documentation you have.

          • Jenny Ondioline

            How you can even write a sentence like that without the SLIGHTEST bit of regard for knowledge, education, or the desire to know the cause of things is shocking and disgusting. If you don’t understand something, you wave it all away as nonsense. Even the everyday things you use like your computer and your car are so vastly complicated and you take no time at all to even consider that. And so you take complicated issues like human sexuality and gender identity and dismiss it all from your ivory tower without the slightest bit of understanding or authority, and that’s how you live your life? Really?

          • Oboehner

            I already know the cause, simple mental problems.
            No documentation on the cat thing?

      • Croquet_Player

        You should see a psychiatrist, who can clearly explain to you the difference between a person who thinks they’re a cat, and a person who is transgender. They can point you to studies, list volumes of evidence, and explain why every reputable psychiatric professional organization worldwide supports transgender people.

        • Oboehner

          Have no answer then, huh?

          • Jenny Ondioline

            I believe he posted the answer right there. It starts with “You should see a psychiatrist” and ends with “supports transgender people.” I can read it just fine.

          • Croquet_Player

            Since you clearly don’t understand the difference between a person who thinks they’re a cat and a person who is transgender, and why one is delusional and one is not, you should go see a psychiatrist who can explain the difference to you from a medical standpoint. That’s your answer right there. Go learn something new.

          • Oboehner

            Since you clearly don’t understand there is no difference between a person who thinks they’re a cat and a person who thinks they are a sex they are not, they BOTH should see a psychiatrist as they are BOTH delusional.

            “That’s your answer right there.”

          • Croquet_Player

            Except if you went to ask a psychiatrist, they’d tell you that isn’t true. And I’m going to value the worldwide consensus of reputable medical psychiatric opinion, not yours.

          • Oboehner

            Popular opinion rules your day I see.

          • Croquet_Player

            No, professional medical consensus. Based on studies, research, and empirical evidence. Which is something that most of us rely on. If you broke your arm, would you visit a doctor? Or would you rely on “herbal supplements” to fix it? If you’d visit a doctor, you too rely on professional medical consensus.

          • Oboehner

            Popular opinion isn’t “empirical evidence”. If my leg was broke, I think I would know BEFORE I went to a doctor, he would just be there to fix it. If all he had was popular opinion, I would go elsewhere.

          • Croquet_Player

            “Popular opinion isn’t “empirical evidence”.” That’s correct. Which is why the medical community does not rely on it. And a doctor is not going to rely on “popular opinion”, but rather medical consensus, on the best and most up-to-date method to treat your leg.

          • Oboehner

            Correction, the most profitable method to treat my leg.

  • Max

    Well, of course. Follow the $$$$$. You don’t make money off DEAD people. Keep them alive, the mental health industry loves Mammon. Lots of BMWs and 2nd homes thanks to the industry that profits from unhappiness.