To die, to sleep: US physicians' religious and other objections to physician-assisted suicide, terminal sedation, and withdrawal of life support.

Published

Journal Article

This study analyzes data from a national survey to estimate the proportion of physicians who currently object to physician-assisted suicide (PAS), terminal sedation (TS), and withdrawal of artificial life support (WLS), and to examine associations between such objections and physician ethnicity, religious characteristics, and experience caring for dying patients. Overall, 69% of the US physicians object to PAS, 18% to TS, and 5% to WLS. Highly religious physicians are more likely than those with low religiosity to object to both PAS (84% vs 55%, P < .001) and TS (25% vs 12%, P < .001). Objection to PAS or TS is also associated with being of Asian ethnicity, of Hindu religious affiliation, and having more experience caring for dying patients. These findings suggest that, with respect to morally contested interventions at the end of life, the medical care patients receive will vary based on their physicians' religious characteristics, ethnicity, and experience caring for dying patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Curlin, FA; Nwodim, C; Vance, JL; Chin, MH; Lantos, JD

Published Date

  • April 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 112 - 120

PubMed ID

  • 18198363

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18198363

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1049-9091

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1049909107310141

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States