Wesley Smith: Assisted Suicide causes PTSD

Wesley J. Smiths

Wesley J. Smiths

This article was written by Wesley Smith and published on his blog on November 24, 2014.

A study in European Psychiatry shows that 20% of close friends or family who witness assisted suicide develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). From the study:


Of the 85 participants, 13% met the criteria for full PTSD (cut-off≥35), 6.5% met the criteria for subthreshold PTSD (cut-off≥25), and 4.9% met the criteria for complicated grief. The prevalence of depression was 16%; the prevalence of anxiety was 6%. 

CONCLUSION: A higher prevalence of PTSD and depression was found in the present sample than has been reported for the Swiss population in general. However, the prevalence of complicated grief in the sample was comparable to that reported for the general Swiss population. Therefore, although there seemed to be no complications in the grief process, about 20% of respondents experienced full or subthreshold PTSD related to the loss of a close person through assisted suicide.

Link to the full article