Risus sardonicus: Assisted suicide or ritual violent euthanasia?

A handful of citations links a proverb about laughing at one’s own death with ancient Sardinian customs that are undeniably related to euthanasia (Broccia, 2001, 2002; Erasmus of Rotterdam, 2005; Mercklin,  1851; Perra, 1997; Rubichini, 2003). The proverb refers to the expression sardônios gélôs or risus sardonicus, and the quotations attempt to explain the paradox […]

Determinants of suicidal history before assisted versus self-initiated suicide late in life: an observational study

BACKGROUND: Older adults are at risk of assisted and self-initiated suicide. The links between prior attempts and assisted suicide in the elderly have not been investigated. Hence, we aimed to investigate and describe the occurrence, timing and determinants of suicide attempts prior to assisted and self-initiated suicide. METHODS: We developed a retrospective study of all […]

Engaging with patients who desire death: Interpretation, presence, and constraint

Canadian end-of-life care is changing. Given recent legislative changes concerning assisted death (euthanasia and assisted suicide), it is vital to examine the perspectives of nurses regarding their care of patients who want to die. This qualitative descriptive study reports findings from interviews with 11 oncology nurses about their experiences of engaging with patients who desire […]

Attitudes toward assisted suicide: Does family context matter?

Copy held in CSP Library.

Religion and Assisted and Non-Assisted Suicide in Switzerland: National Cohort Study

The authors examined religious affiliation & suicide in Switzerland. The 2000 census records of 1,722,456 Catholics, 1,565,452 Protestants, & 454,397 individuals with no affiliation were linked to mortality records up to December 2005. The association between religious affiliation & suicide, with the Protestant faith serving as the reference category, was examined in Cox regression models. […]

Suicide atRoma the end of life

Ethicist Rex Roman offers his views on the distinction between suicide and physician-assisted suicide.

Easing the Legacy of Suicide (IN: Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Suicidal Behavior, edited by R I Yufit & D Lester)

The cathartic effect of a nonfatal suicide attempt has been noted & suicidal behaviour can be seen as a useful & helpful approach to crises. Suicidal behaviour may also be efficacious in changing the environment of an individual in a favourable way. In this chapter, the author goes further by viewing even death by suicide […]

Patriarchy on Trial: Suicide, Discipline, and Governance in Imperial Russia

Focussing on the nineteenth century, this article will show how the crime of instigating suicide emerged as part of an (inadequate) effort to correct the abuses of serfdom in Russia, but would, by the 1860s, become a (likewise inadquate) tool to regulate familial relations – specifically, the abuse of wives & children. In both periods, […]

Elderly Suicide: Causes and Prevention Strategies (IN: Elderly Alcoholism: Intervention Strategies by M Beechem)

This chapter reviews the high rate of suicide among older people, especially older, white alcoholics. Common suicidal situations were examined including depression, widowhood, chronic health problems, & alcoholism. Different types of suicide were identified including physician-assisted suicide & rational suicide. Explanations for the growing support for these practices are offered. Factors contributing to high suicidality […]

A Death of One’s Own (IN: The Politics of Deviance, by A Hendershott)

Suicide has traditionally been viewed as a deviant act because it contributes to a climate in which individual life is devalued. Yet, as the author argues in this chapter, the line between suicide that is viewed as being justified (e.g. a person with a terminal illness) & suicide that is for the wrong reasons (e.g. […]

Tales of Death: Storytelling in the Physician-Assisted Suicide Litigation

The author states with regard to physician-assisted suicide, proponents are most likely to get what they want by presenting compelling stories of dying patients asking their physicians for means to avoid the seemingly meaningless pain & indignity of terminal illness. These stories directly implicate statutes against assisted suicide. These laws, & the stories for & […]

Suicide Across the Life Span: Implications for Counselors

This edited book provides detailed information on risk factors for suicide, suicide assessment, the ethical & legal issues surrounding suicide, & counselling techniques for working with children, adolescents, adults, those bereaved by suicide & their families.

Recalculating the Economic Cost of Suicide


The Quality of Mercy: an Examination of the Proposition “Doctors Must not Kill” (IN: Euthanasia: the Good of the Patient, the Good of Society, ed. by R I Misbin)


Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Suicide Machine (IN: Euthanasia: the Good of the Patient, the Good of Society, ed. by R I Misbin)


Federal Policy Regarding End-of-Life Decisions (IN: Euthanasia: the Good of the Patient, the Good of Society, ed. by R I Misbin)


Homicide and Suicide in the Military (IN: Military Psychiatry: Preparing in Peace for war, ed. by F D Jones and L Sparacino et al)


Assessing Physician Compliance With the Rules for Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide


The Medical Exception: Physicians, Euthanasia and the Dutch Criminal law

The Final Freedom: Suicide and the ‘New Prohibitionists’

Please see SIEC #2003-0344 for the article from “Scientific American”.

Granted, Undecided, Withdrawn, and Refused Requests for Euthanasia and Physician-assisted Suicide


Suicidal Behaviors, Euthanasia and AIDS

The Right to Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

The first part of this article introduces & reviews American legislation & judical rulings regarding assisted suicide & euthanasia. The second part provides a detailed examination of judicial rulings from the states of Washington & New York & the Supreme Court. The third through seventh sections offer arguments from the perspectives of history, fairness, autonomy, […]