Is “terminally ill self-killing” suicide?

Ivars Neiders (Coresponding Author), Vilius Dranseika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When a terminally ill patient kills herself, using a drug prescribed by a physician for this purpose, in bioethical literature this would be described as a case of physician-assisted suicide. This would also be a case of suicide according to the standard account of suicide in the philosophical literature. However, in recent years, some authors have argued that terminally ill self-killing in fact should not be considered suicide. In this paper, we don’t try to address the philosophical merits of such arguments. Instead, we ask whether these considerations align with the way non-philosophers think about suicide. We present empirical evidence from four studies that address different concerns raised about terminally ill self-killing being a suicide. We conclude that the raised concerns cannot be supported by the folk understanding of suicide.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Ethics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Mar 2023

Field of Science*

  • 6.3 Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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