Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Over Half of Euthanasia Patients in Holland Clinically Depressed

From LifeSite

A study published by Dutch researchers in the September 20, 2005 edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) has shown that at least 50% of patients killed under the Dutch euthanasia programme were suffering from depression. In addition, 44% of those suffering from cancer showed clinical signs of depression when they asked for euthanasia.

Titled, Euthanasia and Depression: A Prospective Cohort Study Among Terminally Ill Cancer Patients, the study reports that the risk to request euthanasia for patients with depressed mood was 4 times higher than that of patients without a depressed mood. The significance of the study is sharpened since the researchers themselves admitted to a strong bias against their own findings.

The researchers at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands, wrote that they were “uncomfortable” with the idea that a request for euthanasia is a symptom of depression and that the patient’s request for suicide should be deferred until his depression was treated.

Why would they be uncomfortable with this idea? Doesn't it make sense to defer a decision with an irreversible outcome when there is a good possibility it is motivated by a transient and treatable emotional problem?
papijoe 8:56 AM