Advance directives and other medical decisions concerning the end of life in cancer patients in Japan

A. Asai, Y. Miura, N. Tanabe, M. Kurihara, S. Fukuhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of our survey was to investigate the experience of physicians regarding advance directives and other medical decisions concerning the end of life. A postal questionnaire was sent to 500 Japanese physicians who were most involved in medical care of terminal patients. A total of 339 (68%) physicians responded. In dealing with terminal patients, approximately half gave priority to their patients' wishes for medical care, if known, regardless of the patient's competency. Of the respondents, 149 had been presented with advance directives by their patients and 35% followed all advance directives presented in their practice. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for arrested patients to enable their family to be at the bedside at the time of the death was common. More than 60% of the respondents thought that active euthanasia and assisted suicide were never ethically justified. Our study indicates that the wishes of patients are currently not always given up top priority in medical decisions concerning the end of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1582-1586
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume34
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Sep 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Advance directives
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Euthanasia
  • Japan
  • Medical decisions concerning the end of life
  • Patient's wishes
  • Physician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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