International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Position Statement: Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide

Lima De, Liliana and Woodruff, Roger and Julia, Downing and Pettus, Katherine and Esther, Munyoro and Rosa, Butrago and Sushma, Bhatnagar and Chitra, Venkateswaran and Lukas, Radbruch (2017) International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Position Statement: Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 20 (1). pp. 8-14.

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Background: Reports about regulations and laws on Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) are becoming increasingly common in the media. Many groups have expressed opposition to euthanasia and PAS while those in favor argue that severely chronically ill and debilitated patients have a right to control the timing and manner of their death. Others argue that both PAS and euthanasia are ethically legitimate in rare and exceptional cases. Given that these discussions as well as the new and proposed laws and regulations may have a powerful impact on patients, caregivers, and health care providers, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) has prepared this statement. Purpose: To describe the position of the IAHPC regarding Euthanasia and PAS. Method: The IAHPC formed a working group (WG) of seven board members and two staff officers who volunteered to participate in this process. An online search was performed using the terms ‘‘position statement’’, ‘‘euthanasia’’ ‘‘assisted suicide’’ ‘‘PAS’’ to identify existing position statements from health professional organizations. Only statements from national or pan-national associations were included. Statements from seven general medical and nursing associations and statements from seven palliative care organizations were identified. A working document including a summary of the different position statements was prepared and based on these, an initial draft was prepared. Online discussions among the members of the WG took place for a period of three months. The differences were reconciled by email discussions. The resulting draft was shared with the full board. Additional comments and suggestions were incorporated. This document represents the final version approved by the IAHPC Board of Directors. Result: IAHPC believes that no country or state should consider the legalization of euthanasia or PAS until it ensures universal access to palliative care services and to appropriate medications, including opioids for pain and dyspnea. Conclusion: In countries and states where euthanasia and/or PAS are legal, IAHPC agrees that palliative care units should not be responsible for overseeing or administering these practices. The law or policies should include provisions so that any health professional who objects must be allowed to deny participating

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioethics; euthanasia; physician-assisted suicide
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Depositing User: Lisbeth Amaya
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2023 15:55
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:55

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