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Care at the Close of Life: Evidence and Experience
Stephen J. McPhee, Margaret A. Winker, Michael W. Rabow, Steven Z. Pantilat, Amy J. Markowitz
Part F Ethical Issues
Chapter 30. Responding to Requests for Physician-Assisted Suicide: “These Are Uncharted Waters for Both of Us…”
Paul B. Bascom, MD, Susan W. Tolle, MD
Moral and Legal Framework

Topics Discussed: clinician behavior, euthanasia, incorporating patient values and preferences, physician-assisted suicide

Excerpt: "Physicians vary in their moral beliefs and actions regarding PAS. In a 1995 statewide survey of Oregon physicians, 60% of 2761 responding physicians agreed that PAS should be legal in some cases. However, only 46% were willing, if PAS were legal, to prescribe lethal medication. Dr R was similar to the 31% of Oregon physicians unwilling to prescribe for moral reasons and legalization has not substantially changed this percentage.19,46 In a national study, 11% of 1902 physicians surveyed said they would be willing to "prescribe a medication for a competent patient to use with the primary intention of ending his or her own life" under current legal constraints.17 Thirty-six percent would do so if the practice were legal...."
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