Title
Expressed wishes and incidence of euthanasia in advanced lung cancer patients Expressed wishes and incidence of euthanasia in advanced lung cancer patients
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Copenhagen ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
The European respiratory journal. - Copenhagen
Volume/pages
40(2012) :4 , p. 949-956
ISSN
0903-1936
ISI
000309795500023
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This study explores expressed wishes and requests for euthanasia (i.e. administration of lethal drugs at explicit request of the patient), and incidence of end-of-life decisions with possible life-shortening effects (ELDs) in advanced lung cancer patients in Flanders, Belgium. We performed a prospective, longitudinal, observational study of a consecutive sample of advanced lung cancer patients and selected those who died within 18 months of diagnosis. Immediately after death, the pulmonologist/oncologist and general practitioner (GP) of the patient filled in a questionnaire. Information was available for 105 of 115 deaths. According to the specialist or GP, one in five of patients had expressed a wish for euthanasia; and 3 in 4 of these had made an explicit and repeated request. One in two of these received euthanasia. Of the patients who had expressed a wish for euthanasia but had not made an explicit and repeated request, none received euthanasia. Patients with a palliative treatment goal at inclusion were more likely to receive euthanasia. Death was preceded by an ELD in 62.9% of patients. To conclude, advanced lung cancer patients who expressed a euthanasia wish were often determined. Euthanasia was performed significantly more among patients whose treatment goal after diagnosis was exclusively palliative.
E-info
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