Document Detail

Physician-assisted death: attitudes and practices of community pharmacists in East Flanders, Belgium.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15810755     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This study investigates attitudes and practices of community pharmacists with respect to physician-assisted death. Between 15 February and 15 April 2002, we sent anonymous mail questionnaires to 660 community pharmacists in the eastern province of Flanders, Belgium. The response rate was 54% (n = 359). Most of the pharmacists who responded felt that patients have the right to end their own life (73%), and that under certain conditions physicians may assist the patient in dying (euthanasia: 84%; physician-assisted suicide: 61%). Under the prevailing restrictive legislation, a quarter of the pharmacists were willing to dispense lethal drugs for euthanasia versus 86% if it were legalized, but only after being well informed by the physician. The respondents-favour guidelines for pharmacists drafted by their own professional organizations (95%), and enforced by legislation (90%) to ensure careful end-of-life practice. Over the last two years, 7.3% of the responding pharmacists have received a medical prescription for lethal drugs and 6.4% have actually dispensed them. So we can conclude that community pharmacists in East Flanders were not adverse to physician-assisted death, but their cooperation in dispensing lethal drugs was conditional on clinical information about the specific case and on protection by laws and professional guidelines.
Johan Bilsen; Marc Bauwens; Jan Bernheim; Robert Vander Stichele; Luc Deliens
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Palliative medicine     Volume:  19     ISSN:  0269-2163     ISO Abbreviation:  Palliat Med     Publication Date:  2005 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-04-06     Completed Date:  2005-07-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8704926     Medline TA:  Palliat Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  151-7     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Department of Medical Sociology and Health Sciences, End-of-life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, B-1090 Brussels, Belgium.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude of Health Personnel*
Euthanasia, Active, Voluntary* / ethics
Interprofessional Relations
Middle Aged
Pharmacists / ethics,  psychology*
Professional Role
Retrospective Studies

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