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October 2021

Physicians' voices on physician-assisted suicide: Looking beyond the numbers

Author(s): Schwartz, H. I., Gruman, C., Blank, K.

Journal/Book: Ethics Behav. 2000; 10: 10 Industrial Ave, Mahwah, NJ 07430-2262, USA. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc. 337-361.

Abstract: Most empirical research examining physician views on physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has used quantitative methods to characterize positions and identify predictors of individual attitudes. This approach has generated limited information about the nature and depth of sentiments among physicians most impassioned about PAS. This study reports qualitative data provided by 909 physicians as part of a larger survey (N = 2,805) regarding attitudes toward and experiences with PAS and palliative care. Emergent themes illustrate important clinical, social, and ethical considerations in this area. The data illustrate the diverse and ardent responses that PAS evokes among certain physicians. The role of physicians' personal values is central to discussions about legalization of PAS. Polarized views such as those expressed by physicians in this study are not likely to be reconciled, thereby constraining the development of public policy regarding PAS.

Note: Article Curry L, Braceland Ctr Mental Hlth & Aging, Inst Living, 400 Washington St, Hartford,CT 06106 USA

Keyword(s): physician-assisted death; qualitative research; physician attitudes; OF-LIFE CARE; MENTAL-HEALTH PROFESSIONALS; PALLIATIVE CARE; WASHINGTON-STATE; UNITED-STATES; EUTHANASIA; ATTITUDES; DEATH; PSYCHIATRISTS; OREGON


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