Projects per year
Methods: Practising physicians from various specialties involved in the care of dying patients in Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia received structured questionnaires on end-of-life care, which included questions about their life stance. Response rates ranged from 53% in Australia to 68% in Denmark. General attitudes, intended behaviour with respect to two hypothetical patients, and actual behaviour were compared between all large life-stance groups in each country.
Results: Only small differences in life stance were found in all countries in general attitudes and intended and actual behaviour with regard to various end-of-life decisions. However, with regard to the administration of drugs explicitly intended to hasten the patient s death (PAD), physicians with specific religious affiliations had significantly less accepting attitudes, and less willingness to perform it, than non-religious physicians. They had also actually performed PAD less often. However, in most countries, both Catholics (up to 15.7% in The Netherlands) and Protestants (up to 20.4% in The Netherlands) reported ever having made such a decision.
Discussion: The results suggest that religious teachings influence to some extent end-of-life decision-making, but are certainly not blankly accepted by physicians, especially when dealing with real patients and circumstances. Physicians seem to embrace religious belief in a non-imperative way, allowing adaptation to particular situations.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Medical Ethics|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
- end of life decisions
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Influence of physicians’ life-stance on attitudes towards end-of-life decisions and actual end-of-life decision-making in six countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 2 Finished
FWOAL175: Determinants of end-of-life decisions in medical practice: practices, beliefs and attitudes of general physicians and dinical specialists in Flanders.
1/01/01 → 31/12/04
1/10/00 → 30/09/03
- 1 Talk or presentation at a conference
Seventh One Day National Conference on ‘end of life issues’: It might be lawful but is it ethical? Inequalities in end of life care, a failure of choice?Joachim Cohen (Keynote speaker)4 Nov 2008
Activity: Talk or presentation › Talk or presentation at a conference