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Indian J Palliat Care. 2011 Sep;17(3):197-201. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.92336.

Attitudes Toward Euthanasia Among Doctors in a Tertiary Care Hospital in South India: A Cross Sectional study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, India.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Advances in expertise and equipment have enabled the medical profession to exercise more control over the processes of life and death, creating a number of moral and ethical dilemmas. People may live for extended periods with chronic painful or debilitating conditions that may be incurable.

AIM:

This study attempts to study the attitudes of doctors toward euthanasia and the possible factors responsible for these attitudes.

SETTINGS AND DESIGN:

A cross-sectional survey of 213 doctors working at a tertiary care hospital was conducted to determine their attitudes toward euthanasia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess attitudes and personal perceptions about euthanasia.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED:

The Chi square test was used to assess factors influencing attitudes toward euthanasia.

RESULTS:

A majority of the respondents (69.3%) supported the concept of euthanasia. Relief from unbearable pain and suffering was the most commonly (80.3%) cited reason for being willing to consider the option of euthanasia. Majority of those who were against euthanasia (66.2%) felt that the freedom to perform euthanasia could easily be misused. Disapproval of euthanasia was associated with religious affiliation (P<0.001) and speciality (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

A majority of the doctors in this study supported euthanasia for the relief of unbearable pain and suffering. Religion and speciality appear to be significant in determining attitudes toward euthanasia.

KEYWORDS:

Attitudes; Doctors; Euthanasia

PMID:
22346044
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3276816
Free PMC Article
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