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Psychol Public Policy Law. 2000 Jun;6(2):559-74.

Methodological issues in assisted suicide and euthanasia research.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Fordham University, 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, New York 10458, USA.


A growing body of research has addressed various aspects of the assisted suicide debate. However, this literature is plagued by methodological shortcomings and limitations. This review describes the primary methodological issues and difficulties found in the existing suicide and euthanasia literature. The methodological issues discussed fall into several broad categories, including difficulties in operationalizing and measuring dependent variables, sampling constraints and biases, confounding influences on independent variables, and statistical considerations. These issues are discussed along with implications for the interpretation of the results reported. Where possible, potential solutions are offered, along with recommendations for future research.

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