Why People Think They Might Hasten Their Death When Faced With Irremediable Health Conditions Compared To Why They Actually Do So
This study surveys the differences of relatively healthy proponents of end-of-life choices and people with irremediable health conditions having already made the decision to hasten their deaths on what each group considers important in influencing a desire to hasten death. Psychosocial factors were more important than physical ones for both groups; but those contemplating what might influence them to hasten their deaths in the future thought pain and feeling ill would be much bigger factors than they turned out to be for those deciding to do so. Those having decided to hasten their deaths cited the lack of any further viable medical treatments and having to live in a nursing home as bigger factors. Identifying these psychosocial factors influencing a desire for a hastened death suggests that caregivers and medical providers may want to review what compassionate understanding and support looks like for people wanting to hasten their death.