Intended for healthcare professionals

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Research

Concept of unbearable suffering in context of ungranted requests for euthanasia: qualitative interviews with patients and physicians

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4362 (Published 16 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4362

Beware of Breaking Points

Nothing in nature is perfect, including us. We all have sensitive nervous
systems
with many imperfections, and breaking points that manifest themselves at the
worst possible times. So let’s take prophylactic measures to ward off these
breaking points and avoid unnecessary catastrophes. Physicians and nurses
should ask their patients about stressors in their lives and possible breaking
points. This is not a call for more psychiatric diagnoses, drugs, or
hospitalizations. Rather, this is a call for more sympathetic and supportive
social services that recognize the imperfections and breaking points in human
nature.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 December 2009
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA