The Acceptability of Ending a Patient's Life: A France-Portugal-Spain Comparison

Etienne Mullet, Félix Neto, Conceiçao Pinto, Rosa Maria Raich, Maria Teresa Munoz Sastre, Paul C. Sorum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The views of French, Portuguese, and Spanish people on end-of-life decisions were compared. Two hundred seventy-seven adults from Barcelona, Oporto, and Toulouse judged the acceptability of life-ending procedures in 42 scenarios composed of all combinations of 3 factors: the patient's age (30 or 80 years), the patient's life expectancy (days, weeks, or months), and the type of procedure (suicide, suicide assisted by the physician, euthanasia by the physician at the request of a suffering patient, euthanasia of a comatose patient at the family's request, euthanasia of a comatose patient as stipulated in the patient's advance directives, euthanasia of a comatose patient without advance directions and without a request from the family, or euthanasia of a suffering patient without a request from the patient). In all 3 countries, the type of procedure had the major effect. The 4 procedures implemented by the patient or at the patient's request were, on average, considered acceptable. The 2 procedures not implemented at the patient's request were considered unacceptable. Euthanasia of a comatose patient at the request of the family was judged mildly acceptable. The attitudes of the people in Toulouse, Oporto, and Barcelona concerning the acceptability of ending a patient's life have now largely converged, although Spanish participants were statistically significantly more accepting than French and Portuguese participants. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
JournalDeath Studies
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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