Bioethics Blogs

Suicidal “ideation”???


Have you ever seen the word “ideation” except when paired with “suicidal”?  I’m hungry right now–am I experiencing hamburger ideation?  When I want sex am I experiencing erotic ideation?  Nope.  “Suicidal ideation” is term used by health care professionals to undermine the possibility that rational people can think about committing suicide and that those wishes ought to be respected.  It is condescending and paternalistic.

And note the grammar.  Suicidal ideation is always something that happens to me, never something I actively do.  I can’t say, “I am ideating about suicide;” ideation is always something that I (passively) experience.

Enough. Got to go. I am experiencing coffee ideation.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.