Navigation Links
Study finds most Oregon hospices do not fully participate in the Death with Dignity Act
Date:9/9/2010

A survey in the latest issue of the Hastings Center Report found that most hospices in Oregon, the first state to legalize physician-assistance in dying, either do not participate in or have limited participation in requests for such assistance. Both legal and moral reasons are identified.

This finding is significant because hospices are considered important for assuring that physician-assisted death is carried out responsibly, write the authors, Courtney S. Campbell, the Hundere Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University, and Jessica C. Cox, the Hundere Program Assistant and a second year graduate student at Oregon State. Most patients in Oregon who choose physician-assisted death are enrolled in hospice care. Hospices' role is largely confined to providing information about the law in a neutral manner, the study found. Patients must then work on their own to find physicians who are willing to help them die.

The survey report was based on responses from 55 hospice programs in Oregon, or 86 percent of the total. It compared their policy statements, program guidelines, and staff education materials to address patient inquiries about the Death with Dignity Act. The act, passed in 1995, permits physicians to prescribe a fatal dose of medication to a terminally ill patient who requests it, as long as several criteria are met. Twenty-five percent of the hospices surveyed did not participate in the law at all and 27 percent had limited participation, meaning that when patients asked about physician-assisted death a staff member merely referred them to the attending physician without any conversation.

All of the hospices prohibited staff from helping patients obtain and take medications to end their lives. Few of the programs had a policy allowing staff to be with patients when they took life-ending medication.

The study identified legal and moral reasons for these restrictions. Since Oregon's Death with Dignity Act sanctions aid in dying from a physician only, a compassionate hospice staff member who offers assistance risks violating laws against assisting suicide, mercy killing, active euthanasia, or homicide. Certain values also inhibit hospices from participating more fully in physician-assisted death. "Core values (such as commitments not to abandon patients and to neither hasten nor postpone death) are necessarily in tension and do not lend themselves to a clear consensual conclusion for hospice providers," the authors write.

The authors conclude that hospices can avoid the legal and moral obstacles by adopting a position of "studied neutrality," which recognizes a diversity of views among providers and patients about physician-assisted death and encourages open discussion about the issue. "This approach can bring much-needed dialogue and transparency to a process that is unnecessarily opaque, permit hospice programs to acknowledge tensions in their core values, and promote efforts to assure congruence among values, policies, and procedures," they write.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Turton
turtonm@thehastingscenter.org
845-424-4040 x242
The Hastings Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. VCU Medical Center leads study of first US portable driver for powering the total artificial heart
2. Smoking Could Harm Sperm, Study Finds
3. UC Davis study finds low liver cancer survival rates among Laotian/Hmong-Americans
4. Team to study health effects of botanical estrogens
5. Institute for Aging Research study finds indoor and outdoor fall are different for the elderly
6. Study finds more Americans bypassing their personal physician when immediate treatment required
7. Autistic Toddlers Prefer to Gaze at Geometric Patterns: Study
8. Many hospital emergency department visits could be treated elsewhere, study finds
9. Study examines association between urban living and psychotic disorders
10. Mouse Study May Help Explain Fish Oils Benefits
11. Infants May Display Subtle Autism Signs at 6 Months: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... Saad B. Chaudhary, MD is committed to providing ... acute or chronic problems, I focus on preventative care with all my patients to alleviate ... any questions, always feel free to contact my office and my trained staff will assist ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Amendia, Inc., designer, developer, and manufacturer of ... and platinum sponsorship of Global Spine Outreach (“GSO”), a charitable organization dedicated to ... spine deformity cases, particularly in children. , GSO’s focus is to provide hands-on ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Ridgecrest Herbals makes it a point to lead the Utah ... and support renewable energy. They believe this is a crucial part of their mission ... health issues, and maintain that destroying the environment in the pursuit of profit is ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... The California Dental Association Foundation’s two-day volunteer ... to 1,961 people during the April 22-23 event at the San Mateo Event Center. ... experience barriers to care, CDA Cares educates the public and policymakers about the importance ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... The world-class designers ... to bring their novel lifesaving device for the everyday use of parents worldwide. ... specially designed to read a child’s vital signs, and detect unusual symptoms or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... -- New research provides evidence that an old drug may provide ... released today that will be presented at the American ... Boston , April 22 to 28, 2017. ... the oral drug levodopa has long been considered the gold ... disease progresses, the effects of the medication can partially wear ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017 Cogentix Medical, Inc. ... providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology markets with innovative ... first quarter ended March 31, 2017 after the market ... The Company will host a conference call and webcast ... Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... BLOOMINGTON, Minn. , April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... ("Imprimis"), an ophthalmology-focused pharmaceutical company, and Cameron Ehlen ... the signing of a three-year exclusive sales representation ... a dedicated sales team to introduce Imprimis, ophthalmic ... focused in 13 states in the U.S. Midwest. Precision ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: