A study conducted on 300 people, including doctors, nurses, judges, lawyers and social activists, showed that the judiciary was the “strongest” supporter of euthanasia whereas journalists had the most reservations about it.
Published in the Indian Journal of Palliative Care, the study looks at attitude of select professionals toward euthanasia in the capital. The study was carried out between April and August 2013.
Among doctors, the study shows that psychiatrists emerged as the strongest supporters of euthanasia, while not a single oncologist was “in favor of any form of euthanasia”. This, the study noted, could be because psychiatrists had the “least contact” with terminally-ill patients.
Almost all professionals, including 86% of the judiciary, believed that “there should be no ill-feelings toward a person, who hastens the death of a loved one to spare them from further unbearable pain”.
The study also showed that while 77% journalists, 68% nurses, and 62% social activists believe that “no action should be taken to persuade death even if death is superior to life in a terminally ill patient”, 77% of the judiciary felt otherwise.
Authors: Sheetal Singh, Shakti Gupta, IB Singh, Nirupam Madaan (all from AIIMS)
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