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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 197--201

Attitudes toward euthanasia among doctors in a tertiary care hospital in South India: A cross sectional study


Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, India

Correspondence Address:
Anjali B Daniel
Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.92336

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Context: Advances in expertise and equipment have enabled the medical profession to exercise more control over the processes of life and death, creating a number of moral and ethical dilemmas. People may live for extended periods with chronic painful or debilitating conditions that may be incurable. Aim: This study attempts to study the attitudes of doctors toward euthanasia and the possible factors responsible for these attitudes. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional survey of 213 doctors working at a tertiary care hospital was conducted to determine their attitudes toward euthanasia. Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess attitudes and personal perceptions about euthanasia. Statistical Analysis Used: The Chi square test was used to assess factors influencing attitudes toward euthanasia. Results: A majority of the respondents (69.3%) supported the concept of euthanasia. Relief from unbearable pain and suffering was the most commonly (80.3%) cited reason for being willing to consider the option of euthanasia. Majority of those who were against euthanasia (66.2%) felt that the freedom to perform euthanasia could easily be misused. Disapproval of euthanasia was associated with religious affiliation (P<0.001) and speciality (P<0.001). Conclusions: A majority of the doctors in this study supported euthanasia for the relief of unbearable pain and suffering. Religion and speciality appear to be significant in determining attitudes toward euthanasia.






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