Year: 1995 Source: Psychiatric Services, v.46, no.9, (September 1995), p.919-921 SIEC No: 19950411

The authors describe how clinical & ethical issues interact in prioritizing principles in the treatment of suicidal patients. Concepts of patient autonomy, beneficence & nonmaleficence are used as illustration. The principle of beneficence (to do or promote good, or prevent harm, or remove harm) should guide the clinician working with an acutely suicidal patient. However, the principle of autonomy should take precedence in the care of the chronically suicidal patient. (17 refs.)