In this review of empirical studies we aimed to assess the influence of religion and world view on nurses' attitudes towards euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. We searched PubMed for articles published before August 2008 using combinations of search terms. Most identified studies showed a clear relationship between religion or world view and nurses' attitudes towards euthanasia or physician assisted suicide. Differences in attitude were found to be influenced by religious or ideological affiliation, observance of religious practices, religious doctrines, and (...) personal importance attributed to religion or world view. Nevertheless, a coherent comparative interpretation of the results of the identified studies was difficult. We concluded that no study has so far exhaustively investigated the relationship between religion or world view and nurses' attitudes towards euthanasia or physician assisted suicide and that further research is required. (shrink)
Introduction: Decisions to withdraw or withhold curative or life-sustaining treatment can have a huge impact on the symptoms which the palliative-care team has to control. Palliative-care patients and their relatives may also turn to palliative-care physicians and nurses for advice regarding these treatments. We wanted to assess Indian palliative-care nurses and physicians’ attitudes towards withholding and withdrawal of curative or life-sustaining treatment. Method: From May to September 2008, we interviewed 14 physicians and 13 nurses working in different palliative-care programmes in (...) New Delhi, using a semi-structured questionnaire. For the interviews and analysis of the data we followed Grounded-Theory methodology. Results: Withholding a curative or life-sustaining treatment which may prolong a terminal cancer patient’s life with a few weeks but also has severe side-effects was generally considered acceptable by the interviewees. The majority of the interviewees agreed that life-sustaining treatments can be withdrawn in a patient who is in an irreversible coma. The palliative-care physicians and nurses were of the opinion that a patient has the right to refuse life-saving curative treatment. While reflecting upon the ethical acceptability of withholding or withdrawal of curative or life-sustaining treatment, the physicians and nurses were concerned about the whole patient and other people who may be affected by the decision. They were convinced they can play an important advisory role in the decision-making process. Conclusion: While deciding about the ethical issues, the physicians and nurses do not restrict their considerations to the physical aspects of the disease, but also reflect upon the complex wider consequences of the treatment decisions. (shrink)
Palliative sedation is an option of last resort to control refractory suffering. In order to better understand palliative-care nurses’ attitudes to palliative sedation, an anonymous questionnaire was sent to all nurses (589) employed in palliative care in Flanders (Belgium). In all, 70.5% of the nurses (n = 415) responded. A large majority did not agree that euthanasia is preferable to palliative sedation, were against non-voluntary euthanasia in the case of a deeply and continuously sedated patient and considered it generally better (...) not to administer artificial floods or fluids to such a patient. Two clusters were found: 58.5% belonged to the cluster of advocates of deep and continuous sedation and 41.5% belonged to the cluster of nurses restricting the application of deep and continuous sedation. These differences notwithstanding, overall the attitudes of the nurses are in accordance with the practice and policy of palliative sedation in Flemish palliative-care units. (shrink)
Most quantitative studies that survey nurses’ attitudes toward euthanasia and/or assisted suicide, also attempt to assess the influence of religion on these attitudes. We wanted to evaluate the operationalisation of religion and world view in these surveys. In the Pubmed database we searched for relevant articles published before August 2008 using combinations of search terms. Twenty-eight relevant articles were found. In five surveys nurses were directly asked whether religious beliefs, religious practices and/or ideological convictions influenced their attitudes, or the respondents (...) were requested to mention the decisional basis for their answers on questions concerning end-of-life issues. In other surveys the influence of religion and world view was assessed indirectly through a comparison of the attitudes of different types of believers and/or non-believers toward euthanasia or assisted suicide. In these surveys we find subjective religious or ideological questions (questions inquiring about the perceived importance of religion or world view in life, influence of religion or world view on life in general, or how religious the respondents consider themselves) and objective questions (questions inquiring about religious practice, acceptance of religious dogmas, and religious or ideological affiliation). Religious or ideological affiliation is the most frequently used operationalisation of religion and world view. In 16 surveys only one religious or ideological question was asked. In most articles the operationalisation of religion and world view is very limited and does not reflect the diversity and complexity of religion and world view in contemporary society. Future research should pay more attention to the different dimensions of religion and world view, the religious plurality of Western society and the particularities of religion in non-Western contexts. (shrink)
Surveys carried out among palliative care physicians have shown that most participants do not support euthanasia and assisted suicide. Belgium, however, is one of the few countries in the world in which voluntary euthanasia is allowed by law. The potential influence of this legal dimension thus warranted a study of the attitudes of Belgian palliative care physicians toward euthanasia and assisted suicide. To this end, an anonymous self-administered questionnaire in Dutch was sent to all physicians working in Flemish palliative care. (...) 99 physicians responded .A majority of the physicians who responded are of the opinion that voluntary euthanasia can be ethically justified . Most physicians believe, nonetheless, that non-voluntary euthanasia is always unethical . More than three quarters of the respondents favour the inclusion of a ‘palliative filter’ in the law on euthanasia. Using a traditional cluster algorithm, the following three clusters were obtained: staunch advocates of euthanasia , opponents of euthanasia , and an intermediate group . There were no significant differences between the clusters on the level of gender, age, and years of experience in palliative care. A statistically significant association exists, however, between the euthanasia clusters and the religious or ideological clusters we had obtained in an earlier study. Church attending respondents are least likely to be staunch advocates of euthanasia. The majority of the physicians favour legalisation on assisted suicide. There is no significant association between the euthanasia clusters and attitudes toward assisted suicide.We conclude that although most Flemish palliative care physicians agree that there may be circumstances in which a euthanasia request is justified, they also strongly believe in the effects of good palliative care and want the ‘palliative filter’ to be included in the law on euthanasia. Religion and worldview are an important factor determining attitudes towards euthanasia. (shrink)
The Florilegium Coislinianum, from which we are editing the chapter dealing with words beginning with the letter ?, is a large Byzantine anthology, dating back to the 9th-10th cent. Its manuscript tradition has been exhaustively explored for the first time in this article and our edition is based on 11 manuscripts, dated from the 10th to the 14th cent. We also compared the Florilegium Coislinianum with the Sacra Parallela and the Loci Communes.
The monumental Florilegium Coislinianum can be dated in the 9th-10th century and originally contained all the letters up to Omega, but now the most complete manuscript, Parisinus gr. 923 , ends at Psi. Hitherto only the third book has been made available in a critical edition, while the rest of the anthology is still not accessible in a printed version. This article presents the critical edition of the second book , containing some interesting fragments attributed e.g. to a certain Leontius (...) the Damascene, to Athanasius of Alexandria and to John Chrysostom. (shrink)
Toward the end of his monograph The Craftsman, the American philosopher Richard Sennett describes two different ways of building a house.1 The designer of the first house is the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the designer of the second house is the architect Adolf Loos. Though both men embrace the same principles of the New Realism—"purity," "simplicity," and "honesty"—the results of these two builders are fundamentally different. Wittgenstein was not satisfied at all with his abode in the end. Though he says (...) it has "good manners," he accuses it of lacking a great deal of "primordial life." Therefore the Jewish philosopher will never build a house again, apart from his hut in Norway and his one house on the .. (shrink)
We argue that the function of the cerebellum is more than just an error-detecting mechanism. Rather, the cerebellum plays an important role in all movements. The bias in (re)calibration is an unfortunate restrictive result of a very successful and important experiment, [SMITH, THACH].
Plamondon & Alimi's model will gain substantially in credibility when it is able to come up with predictions for new (rather than old) experimental results that discriminate between various models. Moreover, the present model is nothing more than a descriptive not an explanation for motor performance. A link to the contribution of various neuronal mechanisms involved in motor control and of muscle properties to the performance of the model is crucial.
To many in India and elsewhere, the life and thoughts of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi are a source of inspiration. The idea of non-violence was pivotal in his thinking. In this context, Gandhi reflected upon the possibility of what is now called ‘euthanasia’ and ‘assisted suicide’. So far, his views on these practices have not been properly studied. In his reflections on euthanasia and assisted suicide, Gandhi shows himself to be a contextually flexible thinker. In spite of being a staunch defender (...) of non-violence, Gandhi was aware that violence may sometimes be unavoidable. Under certain conditions, killing a living being could even be an expression of non-violence. He argued that in a few rare cases it may be better to kill people who are suffering unbearably at the end of life. In this way, he seems to support euthanasia and assisted suicide. Yet, Gandhi also thought that as long as care can be extended to a dying patient, his or her suffering could be relieved. Since in most cases relief was thus possible, euthanasia and assisted suicide were in fact redundant. By stressing the importance of care and nursing as an alternative to euthanasia and assisted suicide, Gandhi unconsciously made himself an early advocate of palliative care in India. This observation could be used to strengthen and promote the further development of palliative care in India. (shrink)
Play is becoming increasingly central to our society. This is not only confirmed by the excessive attention for sports in mass media. In the corporate world also, particularly in management, the importance of play is acknowledged, as well in, for instance, role training, meeting skills, and team-building. The annual “outward bound” business retreat often includes group play. Metaphorically as well, life and professional life have come to be viewed as a game. Without batting an eyelid, speculators play their virtual game (...) in the financial markets as if they were no longer aware that their actions also affect the real economy. More and more people increasingly lose themselves in play. Since the 1950s, play has also... (shrink)
Recent results have shown that the relative activation of muscles is different for isometric contractions and for movements. These results exclude an explanation of muscle activation patterns by a combination ofreciprocal and coactivation commands. These results also indicate that joint stiffness is not uniquely determined and that it may be different for isometric contractions and movements.