Euthenasia: attitudes, wishes and behavior of the public, patients and physicians

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6 Scopus citations


The lack of compatibility in conventional medical treatment for patients suffering from terminal diseases or severe disabilities has become one of the more difficult problems of developed countries. Different types of passive and active euthanasia have been adopted as solutions to these new problems. These solutions, however, raise ethical and professional dilemmas, as well as controversies regarding economic and policy-making issues. This situation of social confusion and the publics anxiety regarding end-of-life care are reflected in the literature review, which shows significant discrepancies between physicians and the public in attitudes, preferences and behavior regarding the preferred and existent medical treatment at the end of life. The publics preferences regarding end-of-life care are relatively stable over time. However, the readiness of the public and physicians to accept these solutions increases over time. Considering these controversial solutions and the publics wishes to participate in the decision making process regarding end-of-life care, an increase in open communication and the degree of cooperation among physicians and their patients and family members is suggested. Advancing the treatment methods for severely ill patients, and improving the education of professional caregivers is another essential need. The development of satisfactory treatment alternatives for patients at the end of life may prevent the Israeli society from debating active euthanasia and lead to clear social agreements on passive euthanasia, including the developing of legal options which will enable people, who are interested, to gain control over their end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-543, 578
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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