Human Exceptionalism

Assisted Suicide Causes PTSD

In a way, this may be a hopeful sign. A study in European Psychiatry shows that 20% of close friends or family who witness assisted suicide develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). From the study:

Of the 85 participants, 13% met the criteria for full PTSD (cut-off≥35), 6.5% met the criteria for subthreshold PTSD (cut-off≥25), and 4.9% met the criteria for complicated grief. The prevalence of depression was 16%; the prevalence of anxiety was 6%.

CONCLUSION:

A higher prevalence of PTSD and depression was found in the present sample than has been reported for the Swiss population in general. However, the prevalence of complicated grief in the sample was comparable to that reported for the general Swiss population. Therefore, although there seemed to be no complications in the grief process, about 20% of respondents experienced full or subthreshold PTSD related to the loss of a close person through assisted suicide.

By way of comparison: 11 percent of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan have PTSD, and 20% of Iraq veterans. So, witnessing assisted suicide would appear to be equivalent in upset to serving in war zones. Perhaps that will give the suicidal pause before they order the pills.

Of course, the suicide pushers at Compassion and Choices aren’t bothered in the least, sending “counselors” to give advice in many cases. Indeed, C & C acts as death matchmaker or otherwise helps facilitate more than 80% of all assisted suicides in Oregon. 

But, you know, normal people react to the awful nature of what is done. That’s healthy, and as I said, in an ironic way, perhaps a cause for hope that the death tide will ebb. 

HT: Carol Sutton

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