Year: 2010 Source: Alzheimer's & Dementia, v.6, no.1, (January 2010), p.75-82 SIEC No: 20100757

The authors performed a selective literature review of suicide in persons with dementia & the ethical issues associated with euthanasia in this population. In the absence of any effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, there is already evidence that persons with mild cognitive change & early dementia are at risk of suicidal behaviour, often in the context of comorbid depression. Although dementia specialists have long recognized the importance of a sensitive approach in conveying bad news to patients & families & the possibility of depressive reactions, suicidal behaviour has not been regarded as a likely outcome. Such preconceptions need to change & protocols developed to monitor & manage suicide risk in this population. (64 refs.) JA