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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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The journey to understanding the wish to hasten death

The journey to understanding the wish to hasten death

(p.61) Chapter 6 The journey to understanding the wish to hasten death
The Patient's Wish to Die

Tracy Schroepfer

Oxford University Press

The wish to hasten death (WTHD) is voiced by terminally ill individuals throughout the world, and in some states and countries it is legal for the wish to be fulfilled. Patients expressing the WTHD may be silenced by healthcare professionals who lack an understanding of what it means when such a wish is verbalized. Researchers are seeking to gain greater understanding by studying the WTHD in relation to its psychosocial, spiritual, and physical motivating factors, temporal stability, and conceptual framework. In addition, researchers are also focusing on the development of valid and reliable instruments to assess a patient’s wish. This chapter reports the findings of the research conducted on this topic over the past decade, and outlines proposed future research to develop an instrument for use by healthcare professionals when assessing a patient’s WTHD.

Keywords:   terminally ill, hasten death, research, instruments

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