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Can Fam Physician. 1977 Nov;23:1353+.

Patients who want to die: a survey.

Abstract

Representative samples of Ontario physicians and nurses, plus first and fourth year medical and nursing students in Kingston, were surveyed concerning experiences with and attitudes toward patients who want to die.Many respondents had been asked by some hopelessly ill patients for help in hastening death. Over 25 percent had known at least one such patient commit suicide. Abstention from food and drink was a common method in such suicides, and was frequently thwarted by forced feeding.A majority of respondents were definitely in favor of legal and social changes to permit compliance with requests from hopelessly ill patients for no forced feeding when the patient stopped eating, and for withdrawal of life-supporting procedures, but a solid majority opposed changes to permit compliance with requests for lethal drugs. Student respondents were neither consistently more nor consistently less favorable toward these changes than practitioners.

PMID:
11663296
PMCID:
PMC2379257
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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