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Article

Facing Death: Attitudes toward Physician-Assisted End of Life among Physicians Working at a Tertiary-Care-Hospital in Israel

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Department of Public Health, Ashkelon Academic College, Ashkelon 78211, Israel
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Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
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Cardiology Department, Barzilai University Medical Center, Ashkelon 7830604, Israel
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Pharmacology Department, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva 84101, Israel
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Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
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Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
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Interdisciplinary Research Institute for Health Law and Science, Sigmund Freud University, 1020 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6396; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126396
Received: 16 May 2021 / Revised: 7 June 2021 / Accepted: 11 June 2021 / Published: 13 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Aging)
The demand for medical assistance in dying remains high and controversial with a large knowledge gap to support optimal patient care. The study aimed to explore physicians’ attitudes regarding euthanasia and examine the factors that related to these attitudes. We surveyed 135 physicians working at a tertiary-care hospital in Israel. The questionnaire was comprised of demographic and background information, DNR procedure information, encounters with terminally ill patients, familiarity with the law regarding end-of-life questions, and Attitudes toward Euthanasia. About 61% agreed that a person has the right to decide whether to expedite their own death, 54% agreed that euthanasia should be allowed, while 29% thought that physicians should preserve a patients’ life even when they expressed the wish to die. A negative statistically significant relationship was found between the level of religiosity and attitudes toward euthanasia. The physicians’ attitudes towards euthanasia are quite positive when compared to other countries. The data shows a conflict of values: the sacredness of human life versus the desire to alleviate patients’ suffering. The Coronavirus-19 outbreak reinforces the importance of supporting physicians’ efforts to provide ethical and empathic communication for terminally ill patients. Future studies should aim to improve our understanding and treatment of the specific types of suffering that lead to end-of-life requests. View Full-Text
Keywords: euthanasia; end-of-life decisions; the dying patient act; palliative care; ethics; health policy euthanasia; end-of-life decisions; the dying patient act; palliative care; ethics; health policy
MDPI and ACS Style

Dopelt, K.; Cohen, D.; Amar-Krispel, E.; Davidovitch, N.; Barach, P. Facing Death: Attitudes toward Physician-Assisted End of Life among Physicians Working at a Tertiary-Care-Hospital in Israel. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6396. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126396

AMA Style

Dopelt K, Cohen D, Amar-Krispel E, Davidovitch N, Barach P. Facing Death: Attitudes toward Physician-Assisted End of Life among Physicians Working at a Tertiary-Care-Hospital in Israel. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6396. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126396

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dopelt, Keren, Dganit Cohen, Einat Amar-Krispel, Nadav Davidovitch, and Paul Barach. 2021. "Facing Death: Attitudes toward Physician-Assisted End of Life among Physicians Working at a Tertiary-Care-Hospital in Israel" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 12: 6396. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126396

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