Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Suicide Rates in Europe (Journal of Ethics in Mental Health)

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Recently, the Journal of Ethics in Mental Health (JEMH) published an article by the Anscombe Centre’s Director, David Albert Jones, which shows, contrary to some claims that introducing euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) would reduce suicides, that there is no evidence that this is the case, but that European data shows that in countries that have introduced voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide into law and medical practice:
• No reduction exists in non-assisted suicide relative to the most similar neighbouring non-EAS country;
• EAS is followed by considerable increases in suicide (inclusive of assisted suicide and euthanasia);
• In some EAS countries, there is a relative and/or an absolute increase in non-assisted suicide;
• Data from both Europe and from the U.S. indicate that women have been placed most at risk of avoidable premature death by EAS.
This evidence suggests that so far from the introduction of EAS reducing suicides, it is actually associated with greater incidence of premature death (particularly amongst women), raising raise serious and concerning questions about the effect of assisted suicide and euthanasia on society’s commitment to and strategy for suicide prevention.
See our full Press Release about this important new contribution to the debate surrounding EAS on our website here.

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