Japanese Attitudes Toward Euthanasia In Hypothetical Clinical Situations

A questionnaire survey was conducted at the annual meeting of the Japanese Society for Hospice and Home Care to study attitudes toward euthanasia. Respondents were asked how they agreed with the doctor's decision regarding several forms of euthanasia in hypothetical clinical situations dealing with terminal and non-terminal patients. Their acceptance of euthanasia was correlated with respect to patient's autonomy. Results showed 54% and 62% of respondents agreed with voluntary and non-voluntary passive euthanasia at the terminal stage, respectively. Indirect euthanasia was accepted by 71%. In voluntary active euthanasia, 21% agreed with the doctor's act. In non-voluntary active euthanasia, 13% and 37% agreed with the use of potassium chloride and sedative, respectively. In dealing with a quadriplegic patient, 18% and 37% agreed with voluntary active euthanasia with a sedative and voluntary passive euthanasia. Voluntary passive euthanasia in the terminal stage and voluntary active and passive euthanasia and mercy killing were more likely to be favoured by the respondents who respected patient's autonomy than those who did not
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