DisinfoCast guest and Disinfo.com contributor Peter Bebergal (Too Much to Dream) wrote an article a few years back about his brother Eric’s suicide and research into the experimental application of the Implicit Association Test in ascertaining suicidal intent. It’s a great read, and with two recent posts about suicide, one that might intrigue our readers.
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What clinicians need is some other measure beyond external evidence that could assess whether someone like Eric is capable of suicide in the near future. Four years after my brother’s death, Harvard researchers at MGH are experimenting with a test they think could help clinicians determine just that. It focuses on a patient’s subconscious thoughts, and if it can be perfected, these researchers say it could give hospitals more of a legal basis for admitting suicidal patients.
Of course, I can’t help thinking about whether such a test could have saved my brother.