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Arch Fam Med. 1995 Nov;4(11):951-5.

Attitudes of Dutch general practitioners and nursing home physicians to active voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

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  • 1Institute of Research in Extramural Medicine, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To gain insight into the attitudes of Dutch general practitioners and nursing home physicians to voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

DESIGN:

Descriptive study.

METHOD:

Data were collected by means of anonymous postal questionnaires to be completed by a random sample of 521 general practitioners from the province of North Holland, 521 general practitioners from the rest of the Netherlands, and 713 Dutch nursing home physicians who were members of the Dutch Association of Nursing Home Physicians.

RESULTS:

The written responses of general practitioners and nursing home physicians to six statements about voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide showed that a large majority had a fairly positive attitude to euthanasia and suicide. This finding also emerged from the scores obtained on a scale compiled on the basis of the statements. General practitioners and nursing home physicians were more opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide if they had never performed it, if they belonged to a religious group, or if they were older.

CONCLUSION:

Dutch general practitioners and nursing home physicians have a fairly positive attitude toward euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. However, the majority of these physicians favor a policy of voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide under strict conditions.

PMID:
7582061
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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