Geriatricians’ attitudes towards voluntary assisted dying: A Survey of Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine members

Tanya Munday, Peter Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To identify the attitudes of Australian and New Zealand geriatricians to legalisation of voluntary assisted dying. Methods: An anonymous, voluntary, online survey of Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) members. Results: A total of 226 members completed the survey equating to a 20% response rate. About 24% of respondents supported legalisation of voluntary assisted dying, whilst 53% opposed. If voluntary assisted dying was legalised, 12% would be willing to prescribe to an appropriate patient, and 61% would be willing to refer them onto a third party. Risk to vulnerable patients was the most important concern identified. Conclusions: Support for voluntary assisted dying among surveyed ANZSGM members is low, but varies according to patient circumstances. Key areas of concern highlighted were risk to vulnerable patients, estimating prognosis, and capacity assessments. Further training is required for doctors on discussing voluntary assisted dying options, estimating prognosis, and capacity assessments prior to implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e40-e48
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Assisted
  • euthanasia
  • Geriatricians
  • Impact
  • Suicide

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