ICYMI: Study finds it’s not pain but ‘existential distress’ that leads people to assisted suicide

ICYMI: Study finds it’s not pain but ‘existential distress’ that leads people to assisted suicide

Allowing assisted dying to come into the open has helped us gain insights about one of the most fundamental questions of our existence: Where do humans draw the line between choosing life and choosing death?

But a study released Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests the answers may be surprising: The reasons patients gave for wanting to end their lives had more to do with psychological suffering than physical suffering.

The study, based on information from Canada’s University Health Network in Toronto, represents all 74 people who inquired about assistance in dying from March 2016 to March 2017. Most were white and were diagnosed with cancer or a neurological disorder like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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