EP00 Invited Address 3b - Fatal Freedom: Rethinking Suicide - Thomas Szasz, M.D.
This address is a radical inquiry into voluntary death ("death control"). Is suicide legal? Should involuntary suicide prevention be legal? Should physician-assisted suicide be legal? Personal careers, professional identities, multi-billion dollar industries, legal doctrines, judicial procedures and the liberty of every American hangs on our answers and on our justifications for them.
In this video presentation, Dr. Meichenbaum works with a young woman who is depressed and who has attempted suicide seven times. She has undergone multiple traumas in her life, including rape, suicide by her mother, substance abuse. The case illustrates ways to conduct risk assessment and how to use a constructive narrative treatment approach to identify and bolster the client’s strengths and resilience.
There is no area of research that brings a complex array of ethical issues into sharp focus more than conducting treatment trials when the focus is on decreasing suicidal behavior and preventing suicide. Historically, suicidal individuals have been excluded from treatment studies because their inclusion was thought to be unethical, unsafe or too difficult to manage clinically. This presentation will discuss where the field of suicide intervention research started, the successes and failures we have encountered thus far, as well as the critical issues that still need to be addressed in order to move the field forward.