Silent suicide in the elderly

R I Simon
1989 The Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law  
The suicide rate in the United States rises consistently with age. Silent suicide is defined as the intention, often masked, to kill oneself by nonviolent means through self-starvation or noncompliance with essential medical treatment. Silent suicide frequently goes unrecognized because of undiagnosed depression and the interjection of the personal belief systems of health-care providers and family members. Elderly individuals committing silent suicide are often thought to be making rational
more » ... making rational end of life decisions. However, the elderly committing silent suicide must be distinguished from terminally ill patients who refuse further treatment in order not to prolong the act of dying. The clinical/legal issues surrounding silent suicide will be discussed.
pmid:2706338 fatcat:s2q6tlqflnbjxpstwkxztminhm