B Draper
Journal Issue: 
Volume 44: Issue 2: 2014



In this opinion piece, Davis proposes that suicide is a reasonable response to impending dementia and that the move towards pre-symptomatic diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) now makes rational suicide a more feasible option for those so inclined. Three broad reasons are proposed for earlier death through rational suicide: to conserve financial assets; to reduce family burden of care; and to allow people to end their lives ‘with a final chapter that is consonant with the narrative as a whole’. There are numerous barriers to ending one’s life to avoid living with dementia. Even though Davis admits that few types of dementia have accurate genetic prediction, clinicians are criticised for their paternalistic attitudes in not doing genetic tests and divulging results to people who indicate an interest in rational suicide.