Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Euthanasia Related Abstracts

9 Perceptions of Doctors and Nurses About Euthanasia in Indian Scenario

Authors: TANUJ KANCHAN, B. Unnikrishnan, Ramesh Holla, Nithin Kumar

Abstract:

Euthanasia has been debated for the ethical, legal, social, and religious implications associated with it. The present research was conducted to study the perceptions of doctors and nurses about ethical and legal aspects of Euthanasia in Indian scenario. The study was carried out at three tertiary care hospitals of Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Mangalore, India. Practicing doctors and nurses working in the hospitals associated with KMC were included in the study after taking written informed consent from the participants. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 11.5. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the responses of doctors and nurses. P-value of <0.05 was taken as statistically significant. A total of 144 doctors and nurses participated in the study. Both doctors and nurses agreed that if a terminally ill patient wishes to die, the wish cannot be honored ethically and legally. A significantly larger number of nurses agreed that patient’s wish for euthanasia cannot be honored ethically and legally when compared to the doctors. Though the doctors and nurses were broadly in agreement with the existing legal and ethical views on the issue, their knowledge on the issue with regard to the legal status of euthanasia in India and ethical aspects relating to it needs to be strengthened.

Keywords: Euthanasia, Legal Aspects, India, ethical aspects

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8 An Empirical Analysis of Euthanasia Issues in Taiwan

Authors: Wen-Shai Hung

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This paper examines the factors influencing euthanasia issues in Taiwan. The data used is from the 2015 Survey Research on Attitudes towards the Death Penalty and Related Values in Taiwan, which focused on knowledge, attitudes towards the death penalty, and the concepts of social, political, and law values. The sample ages are from 21 to 94. The method used is probit modelling for examining the influences on euthanasia issues in Taiwan. The main empirical results find that older people, persons with higher educational attainment, those who favour abolition of the death penalty and do not oppose divorce, abortion, same-sex relationships, and putting down homeless’ cats or dogs are more likely to approve of the use of euthanasia to end their lives. In contrast, Mainlanders, people who support the death penalty and favour long-term prison sentences are less likely to support the use of euthanasia.

Keywords: Euthanasia, homosexual, death penalty, and probit model

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7 Attitudes of Nurses towards End-of-Life Care for Themselves

Authors: S. N. Silva, H. N. S. Silva

Abstract:

Introduction: 88.3% of physicians decided to choose a ‘no-code’ or a DNR order if hospitalized and would choose to die less aggressively at home. However, their wishes were mostly over ridden. Objective: To assess the attitudes of nurses towards the end-of-the-life care they would like to receive for themselves and their attitudes towards terminal illnesses. Methods: A mixed method approach was used. A closed and open-ended questionnaire was administered to 73 participants and 5 registered nurses, who have more than 10 years of experience, working in hospitals both in Sri Lanka and abroad, were interviewed. Results: 94.1% of the participants stated that they would like to die at home, spending their last hours at home surrounded by their loved ones and engaging in religious activities but 57.7% of unmarried nurse said they would agree on euthanasia if they had a terminal disease, and also 66.2% of them stated they would agree in DNR order if they happen to be admitted to the ICU, but 82.5% wanted to diagnose if they had a terminal illness or cancer but did not agree on euthanasia. Qualitative analysis confirmed the findings and revealed that despite having adequate confidence about the hospital care, nurses would choose to die at home, surrounded by their loved once and engaging in religious activities. Euthanasia was believed to be inappropriate as it is religiously incorrect and as death is a natural process. Conclusion: The perception of death among nurses depends on their religious belief.

Keywords: Euthanasia, Death, Nurses, do not resuscitate

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6 Euthanasia with Reference to Defective Newborns: An Analysis

Authors: Nibedita Priyadarsini

Abstract:

It is said that Ethics has a wide range of application which mainly deals with human life and human behavior. All ethical decisions are ultimately concerned with life and death. Both life and death must be considered dignified. Medical ethics with its different topics mostly deals with life and death concepts among which euthanasia is one. Various types of debates continue over Euthanasia long since. The question of putting an end to someone’s life has aroused controversial in legal sphere as well as in moral sphere. To permit or not to permit has remained an enigma the world over. Modern medicine is in the stage of transcending limits that cannot be set aside. The morality of allowing people to die without treatment has become more important as methods of treatment have become more sophisticated. Allowing someone to die states an essential recognition that there is some point in any terminal illness when further curative treatment has no purpose and the patient in such situation should allow dying a natural death in comfort, peace, and dignity, without any interference from medical science and technology. But taking a human life is in general sense is illogical in itself. It can be said that when we kill someone, we cause the death; whereas if we merely let someone die, then we will not be responsible for anyone’s death. This point is often made in connection with the euthanasia cases and which is often debatable. Euthanasia in the pediatric age group involves some important issues that are different from those of adult issues. The main distinction that occurs is that the infants and newborns and young children are not able to decide about their future as the adult does. In certain cases, where the child born with some serious deformities with no hope of recovery, in that cases doctor decide not to perform surgery in order to remove the blockage, and let the baby die. Our aim in this paper is to examine, whether it is ethically justified to withhold or to apply euthanasia on the part of the defective infant. What to do with severely defective infants from earliest time if got to know that they are not going to survive at all? Here, it will deal mostly with the ethics in deciding the relevant ethical concerns in the practice of euthanasia with the defective newborns issues. Some cases in relation to disabled infants and newborn baby will be taken in order to show what to do in a critical condition, that the patient and family members undergoes and under which condition those could be eradicated, if not all but some. The final choice must be with the benefit of the patient.

Keywords: Ethics, Medical Ethics, Euthanasia, defective newborns

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5 Euthanasia as a Case of Judicial Entrepreneurship in India: Analyzing the Role of the Supreme Court in the Policy Process of Euthanasia

Authors: Aishwarya Pothula

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Euthanasia in India is a politically dormant policy issue in the sense that discussions around it are sporadic in nature (usually with developments in specific cases) and it stays as a dominant issue in the public domain for a fleeting period. In other words, it is a non-political issue that has been unable to successfully get on the policy agenda. This paper studies how the Supreme Court of India (SC) plays a role in euthanasia’s policy making. In 2011, the SC independently put a law in place that legalized passive euthanasia through its judgement in the Aruna Shanbaug v. Union of India case. According to this, it is no longer illegal to withhold/withdraw a patient’s medical treatment in certain cases. This judgement, therefore, is the empirical focus of this paper. The paper essentially employs two techniques of discourse analysis to study the SC’s system of argumentation. The two methods, Text Analysis using Gasper’s Analysis Table and Frame Analysis – are complemented by two discourse techniques called metaphor analysis and lexical analysis. The framework within which the analysis is conducted lies in 1) the judicial process of India, i.e. the SC procedures and the Constitutional rules and provisions, and 2) John W. Kingdon’s theory of policy windows and policy entrepreneurs. The results of this paper are three-fold: first, the SC dismiss the petitioner’s request for passive euthanasia on inadequate and weak grounds, thereby setting no precedent for the historic law they put in place. In other words, they leave the decision open for the Parliament to act upon. Hence the judgement, as opposed to arguments by many, is by no means an instance of judicial activism/overreach. Second, they define euthanasia in a way that resonates with existing broader societal themes. They combine this with a remarkable use of authoritative and protective tones/stances to settle at an intermediate position that balances the possible opposition to their role in the process and what they (perhaps) perceive to be an optimal solution. Third, they soften up the policy community (including the public) to the idea of passive euthanasia leading it towards a Parliamentarian legislation. They achieve this by shaping prevalent principles, provisions and worldviews through an astute use of the legal instruments at their disposal. This paper refers to this unconventional role of the SC as ‘judicial entrepreneurship’ which is also the first scholarly contribution towards research on euthanasia as a policy issue in India.

Keywords: Discourse Analysis, Euthanasia, Supreme Court of India, argumentation analysis, Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug, judicial entrepreneurship, policy-making process

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4 Intrarenal Injection of Pentobarbital Sodium for Euthanasia in Cats: 131 Cases, 2010-2011

Authors: Kathleen Cooney, Jennifer Coates, Lesley Leach, Kristin Hrenchir

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The objective of this retrospective study was to determine whether intrarenal injection of pentobarbital sodium is a practicable method of euthanasia in client-owned cats. 131 Cats were anesthetized using a combination of tiletamine, zolazepam, and acepromazine given by of subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. Once an appropriate plane of anesthesia was reached, 6 ml of pentobarbital sodium was injected into either the left or right kidney. The patient’s age, sex, estimated weight, presenting condition, estimated dehydration level, palpable characteristics of the kidney pre and post injection, physical response of the cat, and time to cardiopulmonary arrest were recorded. Analysis of 131 records revealed that cats receiving an intrarenal injection of pentobarbital sodium had an average time to cardiopulmonary arrest of 1 minute. The great majority (79%) experienced cardiopulmonary arrest in less than one minute with the remainder experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest between 1 and 8 minutes of the injection. 95% of cats had no observable reaction to intrarenal injection other than cardiopulmonary arrest. In the 19% of cases where kidney swelling was not palpable upon injection, average time to cardiopulmonary arrest increased from 0.9 to 1.6 min. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Intrarenal injections of pentobarbital sodium are similar in effect to intravenous methods of euthanasia. Veterinarians who elect to use intrarenal injections can expect cardiopulmonary arrest to occur quickly in the majority of patients with few agonal reactions. Intrarenal injection of pentobarbital sodium in anesthetized cats has ideally suited for cases of owner observed euthanasia when obtaining intravenous access would difficult or disruptive.

Keywords: Euthanasia, injection, intrarenal, pentobarbital sodium

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3 Euthanasia in Dementia Cases: An Interview Study of Dutch Physicians' Experiences

Authors: J. E. Appel, R. N. Bouwmeester, L. Crombach, K. Georgieva, N. O’Shea, T. I. van Rijssel, L. Wingens

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The Netherlands has a unique and progressive euthanasia law. Even people with advanced neurodegenerative diseases, like dementia, can request euthanasia when an Advanced Euthanasia Directive (AED) was written. Although the law sets some guidelines, in practice many complexities occur. Especially doctors experience difficult situations, as they have to decide whether euthanasia is justified. Research suggests that this leads to an emotional burden for them, due to feelings of isolation, fear of prosecution, as well as pressures from patient, family, or society. Existing literature, however, failed to address problems arising in dementia cases in particular, as well as possible sources of support. In order to investigate these issues, semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 Dutch general practitioners and elderly care physicians will be conducted. Results are expected to be obtained by the end of December 2017.

Keywords: palliative care, Dementia, Euthanasia, general practitioners, elderly care physicians

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2 Euthanasia Reconsidered: Voting and Multicriteria Decision-Making in Medical Ethics

Authors: J. Hakula

Abstract:

Discussion on euthanasia is a continuous process. Euthanasia is defined as 'deliberately ending a patient's life by administering life-ending drugs at the patient's explicit request'. With few exceptions, worldwide in most countries human societies have not been able to agree on some fundamental issues concerning ultimate decisions of life and death. Outranking methods in voting oriented social choice theory and multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) can be applied to issues in medical ethics. There is a wide range of voting methods, and using different methods the same group of voters can end up with different outcomes. In the MCDM context, decision alternatives can be substituted for candidates, and criteria for voters. The view chosen here is that of a single decision-maker. Initially, three alternatives and three criteria are chosen. Pairwise and basic positional voting rules - plurality, anti-plurality and the Borda count - are applied. In the MCDM solution, criteria are put weights by giving them the more 'votes'; the more important the decision-maker ranks them. A hypothetical example on evaluating properties of euthanasia consists of three alternatives A, B, and C, which are ranked according to three criteria - the patient’s willingness to cooperate, general action orientation (active/passive), and cost-effectiveness - the criteria having weights 7, 5, and 4, respectively. Using the plurality rule and the weights given to criteria, A is the best alternative, B and C thereafter. In pairwise comparisons, both B and C defeat A with weight scores 7 to 9. On the other hand, B is defeated by C with weights 11 to 5. Thus, C (i.e. the so-called Condorcet winner) defeats both A and B. The best alternative using the plurality principle is not necessarily the best in the pairwise sense, the conflict remaining unsolved with or without additional weights. Positional rules are sensitive to variations in alternative sets. In the example above, the plurality rule gives the rank ABC. If we leave out C, the plurality ranking between A and B results in BA. Withdrawing B or A the ranking is CA and CB, respectively. In pairwise comparisons an analogous problem emerges when the number of criteria is varied. Cyclic preferences may lead to a total tie, and no (rational) choice between the alternatives can be made. In conclusion, the choice of the best commitment to re-evaluate euthanasia, with criteria left unchanged, depends entirely on the evaluation method used. The right strategies matter, too. Future studies might concern the problem of an abstention - a situation where voters do not vote - and still their best candidate may win. Or vice versa, actively giving the ballot to their first rank choice might lead to a total loss. In MCDM terms, a decision might occur where some central criteria are not actively involved in the best choice made.

Keywords: Medical Ethics, Euthanasia, voting methods, multicriteria decision-making

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1 Capacity for Care: A Management Model for Increasing Animal Live Release Rates, Reducing Animal Intake and Euthanasia Rates in an Australian Open Admission Animal Shelter

Authors: Ann Enright

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More than ever, animal shelters need to identify ways to reduce the number of animals entering shelter facilities and the incidence of euthanasia. Managing animal overpopulation using euthanasia can have detrimental health and emotional consequences for the shelter staff involved. There are also community expectations with moral and financial implications to consider. To achieve the goals of reducing animal intake and the incidence of euthanasia, shelter best practice involves combining programs, procedures and partnerships to increase live release rates (LRR), reduce the incidence of disease, length of stay (LOS) and shelter intake whilst overall remaining financially viable. Analysing daily processes, tracking outcomes and implementing simple strategies enabled shelter staff to more effectively focus their efforts and achieve amazing results. The objective of this retrospective study was to assess the effect of implementing the capacity for care (C4C) management model. Data focusing on the average daily number of animals on site for a two year period (2016 – 2017) was exported from a shelter management system, Customer Logic (CL) Vet to Excel for manipulation and comparison. Following the implementation of C4C practices the average daily number of animals on site was reduced by >50%, (2016 average 103 compared to 2017 average 49), average LOS reduced by 50% from 8 weeks to 4 weeks and incidence of disease reduced from ≥ 70% to less than 2% of the cats on site at the completion of the study. The total number of stray cats entering the shelter due to council contracts reduced by 50% (486 to 248). Improved cat outcomes were attributed to strategies that increased adoptions and reduced euthanasia of poorly socialized cats, including foster programs. To continue to achieve improvements in LRR and LOS, strategies to decrease intake further would be beneficial, for example, targeted sterilisation programs. In conclusion, the study highlighted the benefits of using C4C as a management tool, delivering a significant reduction in animal intake and euthanasia with positive emotional, financial and community outcomes.

Keywords: Animal Welfare, Euthanasia, Cat, shelter, length of stay, capacity for care, managed intake

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