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]

APS Roundtable on End of Life Choices and Care (NEW)

The APS has been actively involved in ensuring that psychology has a voice in current debates around end-of-life issues and care. In October 2017, 30 psychologists and others with relevant expertise came together at the APS National Office for the first End of Life Care and Choices Roundtable.

Key presentations on assisted dying legislation, grief and bereavement, palliative care, residential aged care, legal and ethical considerations, and suicide rates in mental health services were followed by focused group discussion. Outcomes of the roundtable are expected to include CPD offerings and other resources to assist psychologists to navigate their potential roles in end-of-life care and choices.

Resources

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