Year: 2010 Source: Psychosomatics, v.51, no.2, (March-April 2010), p.166-170 SIEC No: 20110083

Family members of patients with cancer may reveal to the medical team that they are considering suicide after their loved one dies. No literature is available indicating how to assess risk & to intervene with these individuals. The authors describe various warning signs & seek to improve awareness & approaches to suicide prevention. 5 cases of potential contingent suicide are presented. Family members struggling with anticipatory grief challenge the clinical team at several points of decision making. Close coordination among members of the patient’s treatment team & psychiatric consultants is crucial for helping vulnerable family members move safely into adequately supported bereavement. (6 refs.) JA