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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-59

Doctors' Perception of Assisted Death: The Effect of Career Stage

Department of Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Smitha Bhat
Department of Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Kankanady, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/BMRJ.BMRJ_11_20

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Introduction: Doctors' role in care is changing to the extent that their responsibility now includes not only preserving life and its quality but extends to end of life care as well. Patients -are now asking for more autonomy in choosing the how and when of end of life care and processes. Doctors have different opinions regarding these methods of assisted death , and these opinions are determined by various personal and professional factors. Indian literature regarding the influence of career stage on doctors' approach to assisted death is scanty and our project aimed to assess this influence, as well as find the reasons for favouring or not favouing the various modalities of assisted death. Materials and Methods: In this study, a prevalidated, piloted questionnaire regarding the different types of assisted death was administered by the interviewer to professors, associate professors, assistant professors, senior residents and post graduate residents of a medical college. Results: Post graduate residents, senior residents and Assistant professors opined that Legalization of DNR, Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia might be acceptable under certain circumstances. Reasons for favouring assisted death included medical futility and patient suffering. Those who opposed assisted death did so on the grounds of medical ethics and humanity. Conclusion: Junior cadres tended to be more accepting of assisted death than their more senior colleagues.

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