- 1 in 5 patients who learned that they had elevated amyloid-β said they would consider physician-assisted death (PAD) in the event of experiencing cognitive decline, suffering, or feeling burdensome.
Why this matters
- People with dementia are currently excluded from access to legalized PAD for competent, terminally ill individuals.
- Among patients with elevated amyloid-β:
- ~66% had not and would not consider PAD for themselves, citing personal, religious, or philosophical objections.
- ~20% would pursue PAD if they became cognitively impaired, were suffering, or were a burden to others; some expressed interest in suicide.
- Those saying they would pursue PAD were similarly likely to express pessimism about future, but more likely to prepare for it.
- Regardless of interest in PAD or suicide, many patients with elevated amyloid-β described increased end-of-life planning.
- Proportions interested in PAD, suicide similar among the patients without elevated amyloid-β.
- Dual cohort study:
- 50 patients from prevention study with elevated amyloid-β.
- 30 patients from longitudinal study without elevated amyloid-β.
- Main outcome: response to interview question about PAD at 12 months.
- Funding: Alzheimer’s Association; National Institute on Aging.
- Lack of exploration of other end-of-life preferences, perceived QoL of people with dementia.
- Limited generalizability.