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.
- Advance directives
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Medical decisions concerning the end of life
- Patient's wishes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research