The public debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide is less pronounced in Italy than in other countries and data about this topic are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate primary care physicians’ experience in requests for and opinions about euthanasia and/or assisted suicide for terminally ill patients and the relationship between attitudes and professional variables. Three-hundred and thirty-six GPs completed the Euthanasia Questionnaire to assess attitudes towards euthanasia and/or assisted suicide and the Maslach Burnout Inventory to examine burnout symptoms. The rate of requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide was low (11% and 4.5%, respectively). Only a minority of the physicians endorsed euthanasia and/or assisted suicide. Agreement with the practice of euthanasia/assisted suicide was correlated with non-Catholic religious affiliation, inexperience in treating terminally ill patients, and the burnout dimension of depersonalization. The fact that professional as well as individual factors (e.g. inexperience, non-Catholic affiliation, burnout) were associated with favorable attitudes towards euthanasia and/or assisted suicide underscores the need to examine the problem as a complex phenomenon involving the dyadic patient-doctor relationship.

Attitudes toward euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide among Italian primary care physicians

GRASSI, Luigi;
1999

Abstract

The public debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide is less pronounced in Italy than in other countries and data about this topic are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate primary care physicians’ experience in requests for and opinions about euthanasia and/or assisted suicide for terminally ill patients and the relationship between attitudes and professional variables. Three-hundred and thirty-six GPs completed the Euthanasia Questionnaire to assess attitudes towards euthanasia and/or assisted suicide and the Maslach Burnout Inventory to examine burnout symptoms. The rate of requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide was low (11% and 4.5%, respectively). Only a minority of the physicians endorsed euthanasia and/or assisted suicide. Agreement with the practice of euthanasia/assisted suicide was correlated with non-Catholic religious affiliation, inexperience in treating terminally ill patients, and the burnout dimension of depersonalization. The fact that professional as well as individual factors (e.g. inexperience, non-Catholic affiliation, burnout) were associated with favorable attitudes towards euthanasia and/or assisted suicide underscores the need to examine the problem as a complex phenomenon involving the dyadic patient-doctor relationship.
Grassi, Luigi; Magnani, K; Ercolani, M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/1203930
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