Alzheimer disease and pre-emptive suicide

Article by Dena S. Davis (Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 40 Issue 8, 2012)

For those who consider suicide to be a reasonable choice in the face of impending dementia, a major barrier is the difficulty of pinpointing the time to act. Recent advances in the creation of biomarkers that diagnose presymptomatic dementia invite revisiting this complex topic.


Still Alice

Novel by Lisa Genova (2007)

Movie directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (2014, 101 minutes)

Alice Howland (in the movie, played by Julianne Moore), a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career, receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrXrZ5iiR0o

The Farewell Party

Film directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon (2014, subtitles, 95 minutes)

This compassionate, dark comedy deals with serious issues. A resident of a Jerusalem retirement community builds a machine for self-euthanasia in order to help a terminally ill friend. His wife does not approve, until forced to acknowledge her own developing dementia. Suddenly, he’s not so sure about what he has wrought.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwdRGUqTTLU