Cancer Drugs, Survival and Ethics

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Peter Wise MD Charing Cross Hospital and Imperial College School of Medicine London, UK

Dr. Peter Wise

Peter Wise MD
Charing Cross Hospital and
Imperial College School of Medicine
London, UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this analysis?

Response: As a medical ethicist, I wished to know how much patients with advanced – metastatic – cancer knew about the drugs that were being used to treat it. What were their perceptions of likely treatment success and how did that tally with our knowledge of what drugs could actually achieve – and at what cost to the body and to the pocket. Did patients actually have a choice – and how did the drugs get approved for use in the first place?

Continue reading

Study Suggests Most Physicians Would Not Perform Euthanasia For Dementia or Psychiatric Disease

Eva E. Bolt MD Physician researcher Dept. Public and Occupational Health EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research (VU University Medical Center) Medical Faculty Amsterdam, The NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Eva E. Bolt MD
Physician researcher Dept. Public and Occupational Health
EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research (VU University Medical Center)
Medical Faculty Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Bolt: Three-quarter of all Dutch physicians have ever been asked by a patient to perform euthanasia. Each request for euthanasia calls for careful deliberation. Firstly, the physician needs to judge whether euthanasia would be possible within the limits of the law. Above that, a physician needs to decide whether performing euthanasia is in line with his personal believes and values. This study shows that cause of suffering is an important factor in this decision.

In the Netherlands, the euthanasia law gives physicians the possibility of performing euthanasia, if they adhere to strict rules. The euthanasia law is not restricted to certain diseases. However, this study shows that the attitude of physicians towards performing euthanasia varies by condition. Most Dutch physicians would consider granting a request for euthanasia in case of cancer (85%) or another severe physical disease (82%). In contrast, only four out of ten physicians would consider granting a request for euthanasia in case of early-stage dementia. One in three would consider it in case of advanced dementia or psychiatric disease, and one in four in case of a person who is tired of living without suffering from a severe disease.

Continue reading