A psychiatric defense of aid in dying

David M. Smith, David Pollack

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Scopus citations


    In November 1997, the voters of Oregon resoundingly affirmed the Oregon Death With Dignity Act. This law allows competent, terminally ill persons who are suffering in the final 6 months of life to obtain a lethal prescription from a physician. This paper presents a psychiatric defense of the Death With Dignity Act including the role of mental health professionals in evaluating competence in compliance with the law. Ethical, logistical, and political issues related to aid-in-dying are reviewed and a strategy for assessing competence is offered.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)547-556
    Number of pages10
    JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Health(social science)
    • Health Professions(all)

    Cite this

    Smith, D. M., & Pollack, D. (1998). A psychiatric defense of aid in dying. Community Mental Health Journal, 34(6), 547-556.