This paper addresses euthanasia and related rights to the terminally ill, to assist policy makers, psychologists and other professionals in considering these matters and contributing to the debate and policy formulation.

The paper does not take a position on the debate, either on the practice of euthanasia or changes in legislation relating to it. Nor does it attempt to cover all the legal issues involved. Rather it suggests a variety of ways in which psychologists can be usefully involved in the debate and in terminal care issues.

Psychological perspectives on euthanasia and the terminally ill - Acrobat icon - small (607kb) July 1996 [updated April 2008 by Dr Susie Burke and Ms Heather Gridley, with assistance from Dr Felicity Allen]


  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Defining euthanasia
  • Legal options
  • Arguments for and against euthanasia
  • Relevant research on euthanasia
  • Current situation
  • Issues in decision-making
  • The roles of psychologists
  • Conclusions
  • Resources and References


American Psychological Association - Resolutions regarding Palliative Care, End of Life Issues and Assisted Dying