Life and Death Decisions: Psychological and Ethical Considerations in End-of-Life Care
Individuals who are facing declining health and eventual death experience intense emotional and psychological challenges. Yet mental health disciplines like psychology and psychiatry have not been well represented in the end-of-life area of practice. Life and Death Decisions offers mental health practitioners invaluable information about the choices that people must make regarding how they will die, or how they will resist dying, and about the ethical issues involved in making those choices.
Offering a presentation of the major moral, value-based, and ethical principles that guide end-of-life decision-making, including autonomy, beneficence, mercy, and justice, the author also reviews the crucial elements of informed consent, competence, and other issues that guide the American legal system's stance on this controversial debate.
Life and Death Decisions articulates the role and functions that mental health practitioners—particularly psychologists—can fulfill as members of end-of-life interdisciplinary teams to help individuals interact more fully with their loved ones and make real decisions on a path toward increasing the probability of death with dignity.