Everyday ethics of suicide and medical aid in dying

Research team

Eric Racine, PhD (Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit, Université de Montréal, McGill University); Caroline Favron-Godbout, MA (Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit, Université de Montréal); Marjorie Montreuil, Nurse, PhD (Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit, McGill University); Catherine P. Gros, Nurse, MSc(a) (Douglas Mental Health University Institute); Monique Séguin, Psychologist, PhD (Université du Québec en Outaouais)


Quebec Network on Suicide, Mood disorders, and Related Disorders (RQSHA); Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQ-S)

In this project, we examine the perspectives of healthcare workers related to medical aid in dying/assisted suicide for people who have severe and persistent mental health disorders. This project is developed in the context of Canada’s consultation of requests for medical aid in dying made by mature minors, patients for whom mental illness is the only medical condition, and advanced requests for a medically-assisted death.
A questionnaire was developed to study mental healthcare workers’ perspectives related to ethical issues in relation to caring for suicidal patients, including patients who wish to die based on mental suffering. We also seek to better understand the perceived needs for training and/or support from healthcare workers to address these issues. Throughout the project, healthcare workers from various disciplinary backgrounds are involved in the research process through participatory workshops to better align the project with their perspectives.

Diehl-Schmid, J., Jox Ralf, J., Gauthier, S., Belleville, S., Racine, E., Schüle, C., Turecki, G., Richard-Devantoy, S. Munich-Montreal Working Group on Dementia and Suicide, Germany & Canada). Suicide and assisted dying in dementia: What we know and what we need to know. A narrative literature review. International Psychogeriatrics, 2017; 29(8): 1247-1259.

Saigle, V., Racine, E. Ethical challenges faced by healthcare professionals who care for suicidal patients: A scoping review. Monash Bioethics Review, 2018; 35(1-4):50-79.

Saigle, V., & Racine, E. (2018). Ethical challenges faced by healthcare professionals who care for suicidal patients: A scoping review. Monash Bioethics Review, 5.

Saigle, V., Seguin, M., & Racine, E. (2017). Identifying gaps in suicide research: A scoping review of ethical challenges and proposed recommendations. IRB: Ethics & Human Research, 36(1), 1-9. The Hastings Center.

Saigle, V., Racine, E. Ethics and suicide: Are we paying attention to the important issues? The Neuroethics Blog, the official blog of the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, 2015 : http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2015/09/ethics-and-suicide-are-we-paying.html