Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-18424
Fischer, S; Bosshard, G; Faisst, Karin; Tschopp, Alois; Fischer, J; Bär, W; Gutzwiller, Felix (2006). Swiss doctors' attitudes towards end-of-life decisions and their determinants: a comparison of three language regions. Swiss Medical Weekly, 136(23-24):370-376.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate attitudes to end-of-life decisions, and the influence of cultural factors and of doctors' personal characteristics on these attitudes.
METHOD: As part of a European research project (EURELD), a study on attitudes towards medical end-of-life decisions was conducted among doctors in the German-, French- and Italian-speaking areas of Switzerland. A written questionnaire was sent to a random sample of nine different types of specialist; it presented 14 statements on end-of-life decisions and doctors were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with them.
RESULTS: The response rate was 64%. 1360 questionnaires were studied. The results show general agreement with statements on the alleviation of pain and other symptoms with possible life-shortening effect, as well as on non-treatment decisions. The language region was a strong determinant of agreement on some attitudes towards end-of-life decisions. Agreement on the use of lethal drugs and alleviation of pain and other symptoms with possible life-shortening effect was higher among French-speaking than among German- and Italian-speaking doctors. For nontreatment decisions, agreement was higher in the German-speaking region than in the French- and Italian-speaking regions of the country. Italian-speaking doctors were strongly opposed to any kind of end-of-life decision. Religious believers and those who attended a larger number of terminal patients tended to disagree more often with end-of-life decisions than the other doctors.
CONCLUSIONS: In end-of-life decision-making, Switzerland represents "Europe in miniature". The impact on end-of-life decisions of cultural factors and the number of terminal patients attended needs further consideration.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)|
|Dewey Decimal Classification:||610 Medicine & health|
|Deposited On:||23 Apr 2009 15:12|
|Last Modified:||27 Nov 2013 18:24|
|Publisher:||EMH Swiss Medical Publishers|
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