Physician-assisted Suicide in Serbia
Background: Physician-assisted suicide is one of the features with very different legal solutions in the world. In Serbia, physician-assisted suicide is a crime, within a crime of the assisted suicide. The possibility of the legislation of the voluntary active euthanasia may open the door to the decriminalization of the physician-assisted suicide.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Clinical Hospital Center in Kragujevac, Republic of Serbia collected during 2015. The research included 88 physicians: 57 male physicians (representing 64.77% of the sample) and 31 female physicians (35.23% of the sample). Due to the nature, subject, and hypothesis of the research, the authors used descriptive method and the method of the theoretical content analysis.
Results: We have raised numerous questions. A slight majority of the physicians (58%) believes that physician-assisted suicide should be legalized, while 42% is for another solution. 90.9% took a viewpoint that it is completely unacceptable legalization of the physician-assisted suicide for all age groups, while the remaining 9.1% is to such legislative move. From the other side, 40.7% of respondents would prescribe a lethal dose of the medicament to the patient, who is in the terminal stage of the incurable disease, but, 59.3% would not do it. Interesting is that 13.8% of the physician had a patient who asked for the information how to commit suicide, and 12.5% gave them such information.
Conclusion: Physicians in Serbia are divided on this issue. The majority of them are for the legalization of medical assistance to suicide, but there is a strong division among them on various issues.
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