Legal assistance in dying for people with brain tumors

Elie Isenberg-Grzeda, Katie Sofie, Evgenia J Larrivee, Jerome J Graber
2020 Annals of Palliative Medicine  
The number of countries and states that have legalized assistance in dying under various names (Medical Assistance in Dying, Death with Dignity, etc.) has continued to grow in recent years, allowing this option for more patients. Most of these laws include restrictions for eligibility based on a terminal diagnosis and estimated prognosis, as well as asking certifying providers to attest to the cognitive and psychiatric competence and capacity of patients requesting access. Some laws also
more » ... that patients must be able to 'self-administer' the regimen, though details vary. Such determinations can be vague and difficult to clearly apply to patients with neurologic conditions and primary or metastatic brain tumors. There is currently a lack of rigorous studies guiding providers on how to apply these important legal criteria to this special and common patient population. As access to legal assistance in dying expands, more research is needed on how to ethically apply the laws and guide patients, families and providers through the process.
doi:10.21037/apm-20-756 pmid:32787350 fatcat:frmngl356zhg5hyj4y7n6byjxq