Year: 2000 Source: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, v.6, no.2, (June 2000), p.382-387 SIEC No: 20011506

The proposed guidelines would require detailed, probing inquiry into motivation for choosing assisted suicide. This is an appropriate requirement in principle. In practice, it will be virtually impossible to carry out this inquiry withing likely statutory time limits. Evaluators most likely will either reject the guidelines as impractical or give them merely perfunctory observance. There is, moreover, an inherent tension in the evaluator’s relationship with the patient between empathy & impersonal distancing that the guidelines do not adequately acknowledge. The guidelines provide false comfort that physician-assisted suicide can be carried out with adequately sensitive monitoring of voluntariness & mental competence. (4 notes)