Year: 2001 Source: Crisis, v.22, no.1, (2001), p.15-19 SIEC No: 20011291

The right to self-determination is central to the current debate on rational suicide in old age. This exploratory study assessed the presence of self-determination in suicidal institutionalized elderly persons. 11 elderly persons with serious suicidal ideation were matched with 11 nonsuicidal persons. Results indicated suicidal persons did not differ from nonsuicidal persons in level of self-determination. There was, however, a significant difference between groups on the social subscale. Suicidal elderly persons did not seem to take others into account when making a decision or taking action. Results are discussed from a suicide prevention perspective. (25 refs.)