Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine; Community Health Sciences

Abstract

Objective: To study the perceptions on physician assisted suicide, among patients presenting to family physicians, at a teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Method: The study was carried out at the Community Health Center of The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, between December 1999 and May 2000. The principal and co-investigators filled a pre-coded and pre­tested questionnaire consisting of important demographic characteristics and bio-medical ethics issues. A system of convenience sampling was used and a written consent was taken from respondents over the age of 16 years, who agreed to participate. The data were managed by using the Epi Info (version 6.0) program.
Results: Four hundred twenty respondents were interviewed against an estimated sample size of 385. Majority (88%) were males between 25 and 34 years of age, and were self employed or in private service. Overall 9%respondents were advocated of physician assisted suicide. advocates was 9%. Those who advocated the Physician assisted suicide were more likely to be female, elderly, married and educated amongst the total respondents. Those who support Physician assisted suicide were less likely to attach divine qualities to physicians and were more bold, courageous and tolerant towards broader biomedical ethics issues.
Conclusion: We have found a substantial acceptability to the idea of Physician assisted suicide in a Muslim society and have identified characteristics of those who support it (JPMA 51 :233;2001).

Publication

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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