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Death Stud. 2007 Jan-Feb;31(1):1-15.

Relatives' perspective on the terminally ill patients who died after euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide: a retrospective cross-sectional interview study in the Netherlands.

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1
Department of Public and Occupational Health, Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. j.georges@vumc.nl

Abstract

This study used retrospective interviews with 87 relatives to describe the experiences of patients who died by euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS) in the Netherlands. Most of the patients suffered from cancer (85%). The relatives were most often a partner (63%) or a child (28%) of the patient. Before explicitly requesting EAS most patients (79%) had spoken about their wishes concerning medical end-of-life decisions to be made at a later date. Hopeless suffering, loss of dignity, and no prospect of recovery were the most prevalent reasons for explicitly requesting EAS. According to the relative, in 92% of patients EAS had contributed favourably to the quality of the end of life, mainly by preventing or ending suffering.

PMID:
17131559
DOI:
10.1080/07481180600985041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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