Background In 1994 the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that in exceptional instances, physician-assisted suicide might be justifiable for patients with unbearable mental suffering but no physical illness.
We studied physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in psychiatric practice in the Netherlands.
Methods In 1996, we sent questionnaires to 673 Dutch psychiatrists - about half of all such specialists in the country - and received 552 responses from the 667 who met the study criteria (response rate, 83 percent).
We estimated the annual frequencies of requests for physician-assisted suicide by psychiatrists and actual instances of assistance.
Results Of the respondents, 205 (37 percent) had at least once received an explicit, persistent request for physician-assisted suicide and 12 had complied.
We estimate there are 320 requests a year in psychiatric practice and 2 to 5 assisted suicides.
Excluding those who had ever assisted, 345 of the respondents (64 percent) thought physician-assisted suicide because of a mental disorder could be acceptable, including 241 who said they could conceive of instances in which they themselves would be willing to assist.
The most frequent reasons for refusing were the belief that the patient had a treatable mental disorder, opposition to assisted suicide in principle, and doubt that the suffering was unbearable or hopeless. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Suicide, Relation médecin psychiatre, Etiologie, Enquête par correspondance, Responsabilité professionnelle, Stade avancé, Trouble psychiatrique, Critère réponse, Evaluation, Euthanasie, Homme, Système nerveux pathologie, Psychopathologie, Ethique, Encéphale
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Suicide, Psychiatrist physician relation, Etiology, Mail inquiry, Occupational responsibility, Advanced stage, Mental disorder, Response criterion, Evaluation, Euthanasia, Human, Nervous system diseases, Psychopathology, Ethics, Brain (vertebrata)
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0351285
Code Inist : 002B18C11. Création : 12/09/1997.