Table 3

Comparison of answers in the affirmative to questions relating to voluntary euthanasia (VE) % of yes (95% confidence interval)

For all respondentsDoctors (n=366)Nurses (n=145)Victoria* (354)NSW/ACT† (588)
Do your colleagues practise VE? 9 (1–17) 05152
Is VE sometimes right?33 (28–38)23 (16–30)6259
Are you aware of the Netherlands' situation?80 (76–84)77 (70–84)49NA
Should the Netherlands situation be introduced here?26 (21–31)21 (14–28)5959
Should medical or nursing organisations approve VE?22 (18–26)15 (9–21)52‡52‡
Should the law be changed to allow VE?26 (21–31)14 (8–20)6058
Would you practise VE if it were legal?22 (18–26)14 (8–20)5050
Has a patient ever asked you to hasten his or her death?54 (49–59)53 (45–61)4047
Have you ever had a case in which a patient under your care expressed a desire for active euthanasia, but in the same case the family opposed that wish?20 (16–24)22 (15–29)NANA
Of those who have been asked to hasten deathDoctors (n=195)Nurses (n=75)Victoria* (354)NSW/ACT† (588)
*Doctors surveyed in 1987 in Victoria, Australia (reference 10).
†Doctors surveyed in 1993 in NSW/ACT, Australia (reference 11).
NA: Not applicable.
‡The question asked was “Should your professional organisation approve VE”.
Can you identify particular illnesses that may prompt patients to ask that their death be hastened?49 (42–56)56 (46–66)NA80
If a patient asks you to hasten his or her death, do you discuss what should be done with:
    A colleague82 (77–87)93 (87–99)6775
    Other health care professional87 (82–92)95 (90–100)7064
    A family member, relative or very close friend of the patient?90 (86–94)93 (87–99)7579
    A religious counsellor?16 (11–21)28 (19–37)2633
Can patient's asking to hasten his or her death sometimes be rational?88 (83–92)85 (77–93)9396