Persons with mental disorders and assisted dying practices in Spain: In response to Ramos et al.

Josep Pifarre, Montse Esquerda, Francesc Torralba, Jacinto Bátiz, Margarita Bofarull

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

Abstract

Ramos et al. paper offers a narrative review of Spanish Organic Law 3/2021, which regulates euthanasia, focusing on its application to individuals with mental disorders. Ramos et al. examine the application of legal prerequisites from an ethical-legal perspective to ascertain the conditions under which psychiatric euthanasia might be considered legitimate and compliant with legal stipulations. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the core ethical inquiries linked to this matter have not been exhaustively investigated. The criteria laid out are, in our assessment, still open to further debate and broader deliberation. Our article emphasizes the need for a comprehensive ethical and legal debate in Spain regarding psychiatric euthanasia. Competency assessment is central to the legislation, but there are concerns about the validity of assessment tools and the subjective nature of interviews. Furthermore, defining irreversible suffering in mental health contexts poses challenges. The article advocates for a deeper understanding of the needs of individuals with mental disorders before considering euthanasia and emphasizes the importance of comprehensive care and psychosocial interventions in reducing the desire for euthanasia. Ultimately, it underscores the ethical complexities of euthanasia in mental health and the necessity of prioritizing comprehensive care in addressing these complexities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101980
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Volume94
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Keywords

  • Competency
  • Euthanasia
  • Mental suffering
  • Psychiatric euthanasia

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