Supporting irrational suicide

V. Gray Hardcastle, R. Walker Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this essay, we present three case studies which suggest that sometimes we are better off supporting a so-called irrational suicide, and that emotional or psychological distress - even if medically controllable - might justify a suicide. We underscore how complicated these decisions are and how murky a physician's moral role can be. We advocate a more individualized route to end-of-life care, eschewing well-meaning, principled, generalizations in favor of a highly contextualized, patient-centered, approach. We conclude that our Western traditions of promoting reasoned behavior and life themselves may at times be counter-productive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-438
Number of pages14
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


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