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The Patient's Wish to DieResearch, Ethics, and Palliative Care$
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Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Heike Gudat, and Kathrin Ohnsorge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713982.001.0001

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Understanding older people’s wish to die

Understanding older people’s wish to die

(p.107) Chapter 10 Understanding older people’s wish to die
The Patient's Wish to Die

Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen

Oxford University Press

In all countries where it is studied, a small but substantial part of the population of older people are consistently shown to have a wish to die. This chapter draws on a study performed in the Netherlands of wishes to die in older people. It provides insight into factors associated with having a wish to die. It describes five situations that can trigger the development of a death wish. A death wish can develop when people perceive their real situation to be too different from their desired state and feel unable to bring about the desired situation. This results in weighing up the positive and negative sides of both living and dying. Finally, the chapter describes the consequences of wishes to die for older people who have them, and the factors that older people themselves see as diminishing their wish to die.

Keywords:   older people, wish to die, living, dying, development of death wish

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