Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: If physician-assisted suicide is the modern woman’s last powerful choice, why are White women its leading advocates and main users?

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Women, particularly educated White women, are at the forefront of the U.S. physician-assisted-suicide legalization movement, as advocates and leaders. They also represent half of decedents by physician-assisted suicide, though they are a minority among unassisted-suicide decedents. The dominant physician-assisted-suicide narrative is framed in terms of choice. This article focuses on the rhetoric and the reality of choice in physician-assisted suicide for White women in the United States, consistent with an intersectional perspective and with attention to context. It examines the idea of choice in physician-assisted suicide in light of women's lives, and also considering dominant narratives of physician-assisted suicide and of femininity. A mix of privilege (e.g., White women's good-enough experiences with medical systems, relative to ethnic-minority women) and disadvantage (e.g., White women's economic and care challenges, given their longevity but in poor health), combined with dominant physician-assisted-suicide rhetoric (e.g., physician-assisted-suicide as a death of dignity and graceful self-determination) and dominant-femininity ideals (e.g., femininity as graceful self-abnegation), likely contribute to White women's strong participation in physician-assisted suicide. The implications for professional psychology of intersectional and contextual perspectives on physician-assisted-suicide discourses and practices are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)