The development in medical technology as well as the growing attention for the patient's autonomy lead to a scientific debate on the role of medicine in the patient's end-of-life. Within the framework of this epidemiological research project the behaviour and attitudes of physicians toward end-of-life decisions are being investigated in six European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland). For this purpose, two studies will be carried out i.e. a retrospective death investigation (N=5000) and a physician investigation (N=3000). The first investigation will be carried out on the basis of a death certificate study, the second by means of interviews with a representative group of physicians. Patients are not involved in this investigation as all data will exclusively be obtained from physicians.