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Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide

R Aubry
On February 2, 2016, the French parliament adopted legislation creating new rights for the terminally ill. The text modifies and reinforces the rights of patients to end-of-life care and strengthens the status of surrogate decision makers. Under the new regulations, advance directives become legally binding though not unenforceable. Two types of advance directives are distinguished depending on whether the person is suffering or not from a serious illness when drafting them. The attending physician must abide by the patient's advance directives except in three situations: there is a life-threatening emergency; the directives are manifestly inappropriate; the directives are not compatible with the patient's medical condition...
October 21, 2016: Revue Neurologique
Ezekiel J Emanuel, Bregje D Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Joachim Cohen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 18, 2016: JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association
Daniel P Sulmasy, E Wesley Ely, Charles L Sprung
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 18, 2016: JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association
Kenneth R Stevens, William L Toffler
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 18, 2016: JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association
Jukka Varelius
The view that voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide should be made available for terminal patients only is typically warranted by reference to the risks that the procedures are seen to involve. Though they would appear to involve similar risks, the commonly endorsed end-of-life practices referred to as passive euthanasia are available also for non-terminal patients. In this article, I assess whether there is good reason to believe that the risks in question would be bigger in the case of voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide than in that of passive euthanasia...
November 2016: Bioethics
Samuel N Doernberg, John R Peteet, Scott Y H Kim
BACKGROUND: Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS) of psychiatric patients is legal in some countries but remains controversial. OBJECTIVE: This study examined a frequently raised concern about the practice: how physicians address the issue of decision-making capacity of persons requesting psychiatric EAS. METHODS: A review of psychiatric EAS case summaries published by the Dutch Regional Euthanasia Review Committees. Directed content analysis using a capacity-specific 4 abilities model (understanding of facts, applying those facts to self, weighing/reasoning, and evidencing choice) was used to code texts discussing capacity...
June 29, 2016: Psychosomatics
Michele Goodwin
This special issue of the Journal Law, Medicine & Ethics takes up the concern of informed consent, particularly in times of controversy. The dominant moral dilemmas that frame traditional bioethical concerns address medical experimentation on vulnerable subjects; physicians assisting their patients in suicide or euthanasia; scarce resource allocation and medical futility; human trials to develop drugs; organ and tissue donation; cloning; xenotransplantation; abortion; human enhancement; mandatory vaccination; and much more...
September 2016: Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: a Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Marianne C Snijdewind, Donald G van Tol, Bregje D Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Dick L Willems
BACKGROUND: Since the enactment of the euthanasia law in the Netherlands, there has been a lively public debate on assisted dying that may influence the way patients talk about euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (EAS) with their physicians and the way physicians experience the practice of EAS. AIM: To show what developments physicians see in practice and how they perceive the influence of the public debate on the practice of EAS. METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of in-depth interviews with 28 Dutch physicians who had experience with a complex case of EAS...
August 5, 2016: Journal of Medical Ethics
Ezekiel J Emanuel, Bregje D Onwuteaka-Philipsen, John W Urwin, Joachim Cohen
IMPORTANCE: The increasing legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide worldwide makes it important to understand related attitudes and practices. OBJECTIVE: To review the legal status of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and the available data on attitudes and practices. EVIDENCE REVIEW: Polling data and published surveys of the public and physicians, official state and country databases, interview studies with physicians, and death certificate studies (the Netherlands and Belgium) were reviewed for the period 1947 to 2016...
July 5, 2016: JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association
U Lewitzka, R Bauer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 29, 2016: Der Nervenarzt
Tze Ling Gwendoline Beatrice Soh, Lalit Kumar Radha Krishna, Shin Wei Sim, Alethea Chung Peng Yee
Lipuma equates continuous sedation until death (CSD) to physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia (PAS/E) based on the premise that iatrogenic unconsciousness negates social function and, thus, personhood, leaving a patient effectively 'dead'. Others have extrapolated upon this position further, to suggest that any use of sedation and/or opioids at the end of life would be analogous to CSD and thus tantamount to PAS/E. These posits sit diametrically opposite to standard end-of-life care practices. This paper will refute Lipuma's position and the posits borne from it...
May 2016: Singapore Medical Journal
Jukka Varelius
It is commonly accepted that voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide can be allowed, if at all, only in the cases of patients whose conditions are incurable. Yet, there are different understandings of when a patient's condition is incurable. In this article, I consider two understandings of the notion of an incurable condition that can be found in the recent debate on physician-assisted dying. According to one of them, a condition is incurable when it is known that there is no cure for it...
September 2016: Journal of Medical Ethics
Dr U Lewitzka, R Bauer
Suicidal thoughts and behavior have been a part of human nature since the beginning of mankind. In his autobiographical work From my Life: Poetry and Truth Goethe summarized two important aspects: "Suicide is an event of human nature which, whatever may be said and done with respect to it, demands the sympathy of every man, and in every epoch must be discussed anew". The authors of this article aim to motivate the readership to question and analyze this complex topic and the accompanying multifaceted positions with a summarized presentation of historical aspects and the more recent political developments...
May 2016: Der Nervenarzt
Benny Chan, Margaret Somerville
In its landmark decision Carter v Canada (Attorney General), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the criminal prohibition on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia for certain persons in certain circumstances violated their rights to life, liberty, and security of the person in sec. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and thus was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court in effect overruled its earlier decision, Rodriguez v British Columbia (Attorney General), which upheld the prohibition as constitutionally valid, on the basis of changes in Charter jurisprudence and in the social facts since Rodriguez was decided...
2016: Medical Law Review
R Osterthun, F W A van Asbeck, J H B Nijendijk, M W M Post
STUDY DESIGN: Explorative retrospective files study. OBJECTIVES: To document end-of-life decisions (ELDs) in in-hospital deaths after new traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI). SETTING: The Netherlands. METHODS: Discharge letters concerning patients with TSCI discharged from Dutch acute hospitals in 2010 were analysed. Data were extracted on survival, personal and lesion characteristics, comorbidities, other injuries, preexisting spinal stenosis, stabilising surgery, length of hospital stay and the presence and types of ELDs...
April 12, 2016: Spinal Cord
Luigi Riccioni, Maria Teresa Busca, Lucia Busatta, Luciano Orsi, Giuseppe R Gristina
In the last decade an extensive debate on the topic of end of life decisions has developed in western countries, obtaining a worldwide media relevance. Philosophers, theologians, legal experts and doctors, focus their attention on the three thorny issues of the topic: forgoing treatments, euthanasia and assisted suicide. A thorough and respectful discussion on these issues should include all stakeholders - above all palliative care physicians - and should be encouraged in order to understand the views in favor or against the three practices, checking the different moral positions, and analyzing the cultural, social and legal aspects in the background on one hand, and, on the other, their impact on the health care systems...
March 2016: Recenti Progressi in Medicina
Inez D de Beaufort, Suzanne van de Vathorst
The number of dementia patients requesting euthanasia in the Netherlands has increased over the past five years. The issue is highly controversial. In this contribution we discuss some of the main arguments: the nature of suffering, the voluntariness of the request and the role of the physician. We argue that society has a duty to care for patients who suffer from dementia and to make their lives as good and comfortable as possible. We also argue that it can be morally acceptable for those who do not want to continue their life with dementia to choose to die...
July 2016: Journal of Neurology
Johanna Anneser, Ralf J Jox, Tamara Thurn, Gian Domenico Borasio
OBJECTIVES: In November 2015, the German Federal Parliament voted on a new legal regulation regarding assisted suicide. It was decided to amend the German Criminal Code so that any "regular, repetitive offer" (even on a non-profit basis) of assistance in suicide would now be considered a punishable offense. On July 2, 2015, a date which happened to be accompanied by great media interest in that it was the day that the first draft of said law was presented to Parliament, we surveyed 4th year medical students at the Technical University Munich on "physician-assisted suicide," "euthanasia" and "palliative sedation," based on a fictitious case vignette study...
2016: GMS Journal for Medical Education
Asca Zavala
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2015: Journal of Anesthesia History
Scott Y H Kim, Raymond G De Vries, John R Peteet
IMPORTANCE: Euthanasia or assisted suicide (EAS) of psychiatric patients is increasing in some jurisdictions such as Belgium and the Netherlands. However, little is known about the practice, and it remains controversial. OBJECTIVES: To describe the characteristics of patients receiving EAS for psychiatric conditions and how the practice is regulated in the Netherlands. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This investigation reviewed psychiatric EAS case summaries made available online by the Dutch regional euthanasia review committees as of June 1, 2015...
April 2016: JAMA Psychiatry
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