Euthanasia and assisted suicide in selected European countries and US states: systematic literature review

Steck, Nicole; Egger, Matthias; Maessen, Maud; Reisch, Thomas; Zwahlen, Marcel (2013). Euthanasia and assisted suicide in selected European countries and US states: systematic literature review. Medical Care, 51(10), pp. 938-944. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1097/MLR.0b013e3182a0f427

[img] Text
Steck MedCare 2013.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (192kB) | Request a copy

BACKGROUND Legal in some European countries and US states, physician-assisted suicide and voluntary active euthanasia remain under debate in these and other countries. OBJECTIVES The aim of the study was to examine numbers, characteristics, and trends over time for assisted dying in regions where these practices are legal: Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Oregon, Washington, and Montana. DESIGN This was a systematic review of journal articles and official reports. Medline and Embase databases were searched for relevant studies, from inception to end of 2012. We searched the websites of the health authorities of all eligible countries and states for reports on physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia and included publications that reported on cases of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia. We extracted information on the total number of assisted deaths, its proportion in relation to all deaths, and socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of individuals assisted to die. RESULTS A total of 1043 publications were identified; 25 articles and reports were retained, including series of reported cases, physician surveys, and reviews of death certificates. The percentage of physician-assisted deaths among all deaths ranged from 0.1%-0.2% in the US states and Luxembourg to 1.8%-2.9% in the Netherlands. Percentages of cases reported to the authorities increased in most countries over time. The typical person who died with assistance was a well-educated male cancer patient, aged 60-85 years. CONCLUSIONS Despite some common characteristics between countries, we found wide variation in the extent and specific characteristics of those who died an assisted death.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

13 Central Units > Administrative Director's Office > University Library of Bern
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Management
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Steck, Nicole; Egger, Matthias; Maessen, Maud; Reisch, Thomas and Zwahlen, Marcel

Subjects:

000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 020 Library & information sciences
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

0025-7079

Publisher:

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

24 Feb 2014 10:26

Last Modified:

20 Dec 2014 03:00

Publisher DOI:

10.1097/MLR.0b013e3182a0f427

PubMed ID:

23929402

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.41331

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/41331

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback