This question asks about what a person should do after their psychiatrist brought up the concept of euthanasia.

This is a tricky question, because at its heart, it's a question about whether an individual clinical action (a psychiatrist discussing death in an emotionally provocative manner) is correct or not. There is a layered on question about the frequency of this particular clinical action in different political regions, but as per the comments, it looks like the primary question is "my doctor's clinical decision was wrong, what should I do about it?"

I believe those questions, provided they are about a clinical action, are off topic for the same reason we can't give personal medical advice. We can't evaluate the correctness of the action without all the specific personal information. Questions that are about a non-clinical action (e.g., having a romantic relationship with a patient) may be off topic as well, but that should probably be a different question.

  • I agree that legal questions are off topic here. Bioethics might be different if we had a very large community, then those discussions might be able to be included in scope, but we don't so most of them are not well suited to this site either.
    – DoctorWhom
    Oct 21, 2018 at 17:43
  • @DoctorWhom perhaps I should edit the title. The legal question (is something malpractice) is different than the clinical question (is a clinical action correct). I'll edit.
    – De Novo
    Oct 21, 2018 at 18:46
  • 1
    I think if the question was more about standards of practice it could be on-topic, but this one has veered far to much into the specifics of this interaction and is a bit of a rant; I see it as diverging from on-topic on several grounds.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Oct 22, 2018 at 18:19
  • @BryanKrause Exactly. Since we are now quite good in "putting on hold" it is in quite a few cases unfortunate that we also "close" so much Qs. That "closing" is imho not inherently 'good'. Feel up to an edit for cases like these that might even require not a scalpel but perhaps a machete or an even bigger tool? Oct 23, 2018 at 20:25
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    @LangLangC I think this one is a bit too far out there to be edited, but maybe in some cases it could be done.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Oct 23, 2018 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


I think this type of question is actually worse than requests for medical advice. It asks us to judge the words and actions of a doctor based solely on hearsay from a stranger of unknown reliability, medical understanding, mental status, and truthfulness. With medical advice you can screw up only one way: by giving bad advice. With a question like this you can screw up that way AND by unfairly criticizing someone. I think these questions should be closed aggressively.


If one doesn’t know all the circumstances, under which someone else decided to take action, or/and if one can’t ask the person why the action was taken, one is in no position to judge.

This is true for any profession, be it medically or otherwise. Therefore, I think those types of questions should not be on-topic. Talking to the physician is impossible due to the medical confidentiality, and why we can’t know all the circumstances has been established in the threads regarding personal medical diagnoses.

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