Sunday, February 14, 2016

Post-Christian Europe - Solving the problem of the mentally ill since 1933.


//Last year, a team of doctors in Belgium, where laws are similar to those in the Netherlands, reported that most people who sought doctor-assisted death for psychiatric problems had depression, personality disorders or both. The new study of the Netherlands fills out that picture considerably, detailing the agonizing decisions by both doctors and patients in cases that went forward, ending in voluntary death.

The researchers, who included Dr. John Peteet of Harvard Medical School and Raymond De Vries of the University of Michigan and Maastricht University in the Netherlands, found that 46 of the patients had been women, most 60 or older.

The depression was often mixed with other problems, like substance abuse, mild dementia or physical pain. More than half had received a diagnosis of a personality disorder, like avoidant or dependent personality, which are typically bound up with relationship problems. The group also included people with diagnoses of eating disorders and autism spectrum conditions. Many reported being intensely lonely.

“The Dutch system is really the idealized setting in which to try something like this,” said Dr. Kim, in an interview. “But still, you can see that there are many cases that make us question whether this is the right practice.”//


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