Oregon patients who request physician aid in dying under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act often rate concerns about future illness symptoms as a leading motivator. The findings are the result of an Oregon Health & Science University study published in the March 9 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Our data suggests that patients who request physician-assisted death do so not because of physical symptoms or their current quality of life. They often make their requests based on an anticipation of future suffering," explained Linda Ganzini, M.D., a professor of psychiatry in the OHSU School of Medicine.
Previous studies of the factors for requests of physician aid in dying were based on interviews and surveys conducted with health care providers and family members following a loved one's death. The goal of this study was to directly survey patients about their reasons for requesting assistance, before death via physician aid or other circumstances.
A total of 56 Oregonians took part in the study. All of the patients had requested physician aid in dying or had contacted an advocacy organization for information. The vast majority of patients were diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Each of these patients was asked to rate on a 5-point scale the importance of 29 factors in influencing their request for aid in dying. The highest ranked reasons for aid in dying were: wanting to control the circumstances of their death, concerns about future poor quality of life, concerns about future pain, concerns about the future ability to care for oneself, a loss of independence and the desire to die at home. Among the lowest rated reasons for requesting assistance were: depression, lack of support, financial concerns, current pain and quality of life.
The findings are being published as a second U.S. state enacts a law allowing physician-assisted suicides to take place. On Thursday, March 5, Washington became the second state in the country to allow physicians to prescribe lethal medications. Oregon's assisted suicide law was enacted in 1998.
"We hope that the results of this study will help guide providers in counseling patients who inquire about physician aid in dying," added Ganzini. "Based on this data, health care providers should first focus on providing information about future symptom control and improving the patient's sense of control."
Jim Newman | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Depression > advocacy organization for information > care for oneself > future illness symptoms > future pain > future poor quality of life > health care providers > loss of independence > physical symptoms > physician aid > physician-assisted suicide > quality of life > terminal cancer
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy