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January 11, 1995

A Conversation With My Mother-Reply

Author Affiliations

Kaiser Pemanente Southern California Pasadena

JAMA. 1995;273(2):114. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520260033023

In Reply.  —Drs Cheong, Heilman, and Doty describe both a general concern that underlying depression should not be overlooked in a patient who talks of suicide, and a specific concern that my mother might have had a treatable depression that could have been managed better. To address the second point first, in my article I omitted the details of her medications for the obvious reason that the management of depression was not the point of the article. The facts are that because we all knew that my mother had a history of depression, we were very alert to the importance of proper treatment. When she was depressed, we would not discuss suicide with her. We were also convinced that she was not depressed when she made and reaffirmed her final decisions. I am not certain what a "formal" evaluation is, but I doubt it could be much better than the

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