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[Decisions about life and death. An empirical study of the position of Danish physicians concerning end-of-life decisions].

Authors
  • Norup, M1
  • Folker, A P
  • Holtug, N
  • Jensen, A B
  • Kappel, K
  • Nielsen, J K
  • 1 Afdeling for Medicinsk Videnskabsteori, Københavns Universitet.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nordisk medicin
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1998
Volume
113
Issue
7
Pages
240–244
Identifiers
PMID: 9755623
Source
Medline
Language
Danish
License
Unknown

Abstract

In a postal questionnaire investigation of experiences and attitudes concerning end-of-life decisions among Danish physicians, most of the respondents reported having made decisions involving the hastening of a patient's death, and considered this acceptable. Such decisions were more frequent, and were considered ethically more acceptable, when made with the patient's informed consent than without. Of the respondents, two per cent had participated in assisted suicide, and five per cent had administered a lethal injection at the patient's request, practices considered ethically acceptable by 37 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively, of the respondents. The most frequently cited reasons for opposing such practices were double effect principle, the active killing/allowed-death distinction, and the sanctity of life; and the most frequently cited justifications were respect for the patient's autonomy, the avoidance of unnecessary suffering, and the patient's right to a death with dignity.

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