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Health Serv Res. 2009 Dec;44(6):2180-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2009.01042.x. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

Role and involvement of life end information forum physicians in euthanasia and other end-of-life care decisions in Flanders, Belgium.

Author information

1
End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe role and involvement of Life End Information Forum (LEIF) physicians in end-of-life care decisions and euthanasia in Flanders.

STUDY DESIGN:

All 132 LEIF physicians in Belgium received a questionnaire inquiring about their activities in the past year, and their end-of-life care training and experience.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Response rate was 75 percent. Most respondents followed substantive training in end-of-life care. In 1 year, LEIF physicians were contacted 612 times for consultations in end-of-life decisions, of which 355 concerned euthanasia requests eventually resulting in 221 euthanasia cases. LEIF physicians also gave information about various end-of-life issues (including palliative care) to patients and colleagues.

CONCLUSIONS:

LEIF physicians provide a forum for information and advice for physicians and patients. A similar health service providing support to physicians for all end-of-life decisions could also be beneficial for countries without a euthanasia law.

PMID:
19780854
PMCID:
PMC2796321
DOI:
10.1111/j.1475-6773.2009.01042.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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