Table 4

Themes and subthemes present in each of the studies included in this review

Lavery et al 1 Kelly et al 2 Coyle and Sculco24 Mak and Elwyn7 Pearlman et al 23 Schroepfer8 Nissim et al 6 Stiel et al 20 Dees et al 9 Ohnsorge et al 10 Ohnsorge et al 11 Ohnsorge et al 4 Nilmanat et al 22 Pestinger et al 21
Reasons for the WTHD
 Physical factors
 Psychological factors
 Social factors
 Loss of self
Meanings of the WTHD
 Cry for help
 To end suffering
 To spare others from the burden of oneself
 To preserve self-determination to the very end
 Will to live but not in this way
Functions of the WTHD
 WTHD as a means of communicating
 WTHD as a form of control
Lived experience of a timeline towards dying and death
  • WTHD, wish to hasten death.