Navigation Links
Euthanasia and the use of end-of-life drugs without explicit request
Date:5/17/2010

Despite fears to the contrary, the use of drugs to end life without patient request has not increased since euthanasia was legalized in Belgium, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/rapidpdf/cmaj.091876v1?ijkey=7e8aeb7d487df3b7630863f09968fab81968bfdd (www.cmaj.ca).

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are controversial issues in the medical world. There are fears that the legalization of euthanasia will result in an increase in the use of life-ending drugs without explicit patient request, especially for vulnerable people such as seniors.

Euthanasia and/or physician-assisted suicide have been decriminalized in the US states of Oregon (1997) and Washington State (2009), as well as three European countries: Belgium and the Netherlands (2002) and Luxemburg (2009). Recently, the legalization debate has ignited in several countries, including Canada where a proposed bill was defeated by Parliament in April and the National Assembly of Quebec has launched consultations on the right to die through euthanasia.

The CMAJ study by a team of Belgian and Dutch researchers found 208 physician-assisted deaths in their sample of death certificates in Flemish Belgium. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide occurred in 2% of all Flemish deaths and the use of life-ending drugs without request occurred in 1.8% of deaths. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide were performed often in patients younger than 80 years (79.6%), in cancer patients (80.2%) and in people dying at home (50.3%). The use of life-ending drugs without explicit request often involved patients over the age of 80 (53%) and deaths in hospital ( 67%).

Despite the lack of explicit patient request, the use of life-ending drugs was in most cases discussed with patients' families and health professional colleagues.

"The use of life-ending drugs without explicit patient request occurs predominantly in hospital and among elderly patients who are mostly in an irreversible coma or demented," write Dr. Kenneth Chambaere, Vrije Universiteit, Brussel, and coauthors. "This fits the description of 'vulnerable' patient groups at risk of life-ending without request. Due attention should therefore be paid to protecting these particular patient groups from such practices. However, these patients are not proportionally more at risk than other patient groups."

The researchers also found that in deaths without explicit request, mostly opioids were used along with benzodiazepines, although the efficacy of opioids in hastening death may be overestimated. They urge the need for advance care planning in the case of unpredictable end-of-life illnesses and decision-making.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kim Barnhardt
kim.barnhardt@cmaj.ca
613-520-7116 x2224
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The death of euthanasia
2. End-of-life care strategies examined in Pennsylvania prisons
3. Reasoning through the rationing of end-of-life care
4. Doctors Put Off End-of-Life Talks With Terminally Ill
5. Survival benefit with high-intensity end-of-life approaches
6. Does the U.S. Need to Ration Costly End-of-Life Care?
7. End-of-Life Care Planning Eases Stress for Relatives
8. Advance Directives Help Assure End-of-Life Wishes Are Honored
9. New Drugs, New Combinations Fight Breast Cancer
10. NICE guidelines ration affordable osteoporosis drugs
11. Bone Drugs May Beat Back Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... in the greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing an extended charity ... a rare and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since birth with several ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... LEXINGTON, Ky. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... MD, MPH to become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James ... and CEO Elect beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, ... member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. ... and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... most influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their ... 18,000 views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile ... a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise ... use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for ... the end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the ... as mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) will ... 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Lilly will also ... investment community and media to further detail the company,s ... at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, media and the ... conference call through a link that will be posted ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... -- The Rebound mobile app is poised to become a ... of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers users to develop ... down their dosage in a safe, controlled manner while maximizing ... first 100,000 people to sign up will enjoy 3 months ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: