Year: 2000 Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, v.160, no.16, (September 11, 2000), p.2454-2460 SIEC No: 20010468

This study examined the personal attitudes of 70 patients with advanced cancer towards euthanasia & physician-assisted suicide. Subjects took part in a survey using in-depth semistructured interviews. Most participants belived euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide shold be legalized, citing pain & the individual’s right to choose as their major reasons. Participants who were opposed to legalization cited religious & moral objections as their central concerns. Of the 69 participants who completed the entire interview, 40 believed that, if legal, they might personally make a future request for a hastened death, particularly if pain or physical symptoms became intolerable. 8 of these individuals would have made such a request at the time of the interview. These 8 differed from all other participants on ratings of loss of interest or pleasure in activities, hopelessness, & the desire to die. They also had a higher prevalence of depressive disorders. They did not differ on ratings of pain severity. (41 refs.)