Are Psychiatrists who Assist in Suicide Betraying Their Professional Values?


Medical aid in dying is available for psychiatric patients in European countries and Canada. Will the United States be next?

In Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg over a hundred psychiatric patients a year receive medical aid in dying (MAID). They do not need to have a terminal condition, only a degree of suffering that they find intolerable. This could include mental suffering, brought on, for instance, by depression.

MAID laws are now passing in the United States, and psychiatrists may soon face a difficult question. Should they help patients, who say their psychiatric conditions are unbearable, end their lives? In this Mental Health Minute, Mark S. Komrad, MD, discusses the various forms of MAID and makes a case against them, especially for psychiatric patients.

Read Komrad’s full feature article on MAID here.

Dr Komrad is a psychiatrist on the clinical and teaching staff of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, clinical assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland, and Teaching Faculty of Psychiatry at Tulane University in New Orleans.

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