Friday, December 31, 2010

Make Sure You & Your Doctor Agree About Euthanasia

Well, whichever side of the euthanasia debate you’re on, you’d better make sure your doctor sees the world the way you do.
Euthanasia & Physician-Assisted Suicide...What Are Doctors Thinking?
Have you ever wondered about the opinions of practicing doctors toward euthanasia (the doctor deliberately hastens the death of a terminally ill patient) and physician-assisted suicide (the patient hastens his or her own death, with the help of a doctor).
To achieve a better understanding of doctors' attitudes and practices regarding these highly controversial societal issues, the American Society of Clinical Oncology surveyed 3299 U.S. cancer doctors. Cancer doctors (oncologists) were questioned because in the U.S. these specialists more commonly address these issues than do other doctors.
The researchers reviewed the doctors' attitudes in relation to a theoretical patient who had terminal cancer of the prostate with unremitting pain. They were also questioned about how they felt about requests for and their participation in euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.
The results of the study were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine 2000;133:527-532.
Of the U.S. cancer doctors that were surveyed, 25% supported the use of physician-assisted suicide for a terminally ill patient with unremitting pain, while 6.5% supported euthanasia. more

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