Oncology News International readers are on the whole in favor of “aid in dying” for terminally ill patients, but diff er on how it should be carried out.
In 2008, Washington state passed an initiative that allows doctors to prescribe lethal prescriptions to terminally ill patients who have six months or less to live. The physician must also recommend, but not require, the patient to notify next of kin. The initiative is similar to Oregon’s 1998 Death With Dignity Act.
Of those who responded to the December poll question (“Do you agree with physician-assisted suicide?”), 24% said yes, if physicians determine survival time is less than six months.
Another 24% said yes, if the patient self administers the lethal dose of medication. Finally, 16% voted in favor of having the physician administer the lethal dose.
On the other hand, 16% said no because physician-assisted suicide validates euthanasia while another 16% voted no, not under any circumstances.
See page 2 and visit www.cancernetwork.com to register your vote on this month’s question, “Considering what we know now, should ESAs ever have been approved for chemotherapy-induced anemia?”