Should people who want to die be prevented from killing themselves?

Most health care professionals, and a variety of people in other occupations as well, are obligated to try to prevent people from killing themselves. Laws require them to treat suicidal people in essentially the same manner they would treat homicidal people, even to the extent of breaking doctor-patient confidentiality to do so. At the other extreme are people like Jack Kevorkian, MD, a physician who believed doctors ought to help their patients commit suicide when asked.

What would you do if someone you know is thinking about suicide?

By successfully completing this reflection activity, learners demonstrate Module Outcomes 1 & 2.

Watch the TEDTalks: Kevin BriggsThe bridge between suicide and lifeLinks to an external site. [Video file][14 min 10 sec].

Should people who want to die be prevented from killing themselves? Most health care professionals, and a variety of people in other occupations as well, are obligated to try to prevent people from killing themselves.

Laws require them to treat suicidal people in essentially the same manner they would treat homicidal people, even to the extent of breaking doctor-patient confidentiality to do so.

At the other extreme are people like Jack Kevorkian, MD, a physician who believed doctors ought to help their patients commit suicide when asked. What would you do if someone you know is thinking about suicide?

By successfully completing this reflection activity, learners demonstrate Module Outcomes 1 & 2.

Reflect on your own thoughts and ideas about the content of the video by writing answers to the following:

Illustrate your understanding of why this video is relevant to the course by reflecting on and reacting to the content. How does the topic of this activity relate to your personal and professional life? Explain.
What information from the video can you use in your career?

Give a specific example.
What do you think about suicide laws and the requirement that mental health

professionals intervene to prevent suicide even when it goes against the wishes of their clients and their professional codes of ethics (confidentiality)?

Do clients avoid talking about suicidal thoughts because of these laws?

How should you deal with a close friend or relative whom you think may be thinking about suicide?