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Grounded theory
Balance of lifetime remaining to anticipated suffering behind
  1. Phillipa Malpas
  1. Department of Psychological Medicine, FMHS, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Phillipa Malpas, Department of Psychological Medicine, FMHS, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; p.malpas{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Uncertainty about the dying trajectory may manifest itself in a desire of patients to control the dying process.

  • A desire for a hastened death should not be interpreted literally as a death wish.

  • Further research exploring what dying patients need at the end of life is recommended.


Despite tremendous advancements in palliative and hospice care over the past several decades, some patients facing their own mortality express a desire for an assisted death. Pestinger and colleagues explore the motivations of patients who express a desire …

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  • Competing interests None declared.