NETHERLANDS, July 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An opinion poll conducted by the Een Vandaag Institution of 800 general medical practitioners shows that there is a broad acceptance of the practice of euthanasia and a general willingness among Dutch doctors to offer euthanasia to people in their care.
The survey was conducted from 21 to 27 July and published in the Dutch press.
The poll found that 86.5% of Dutch doctors would cooperate in principle with a request for euthanasia, while only 7.9% said they would not cooperate.
64.6% said they were “under pressure” regularly or sometimes to commit euthanasia. Increasing pressure from the family of a patient for euthanasia was reported by 36% of respondents. 80.3% of respondents said they feel increasing pressure by society in general to commit euthanasia.
68.1% of doctors said they had euthanized patients within the past five years, and more than half said they had done so from 2 to 5 times. Four percent of physicians agreed to a request for euthanasia more than 10 times over the past 5 years.
57.4% said they have never refused a request for euthanasia in the past 5 years, while 26.1% refused once. Among those who refused on principle, 39.4% said they sent the requesting patient to a colleague.
Just over half (51.3%) of doctors said they request the presence of a physician specialist panel (the SCEN) while euthanizing a patient, while 16.5% said they just bring in a colleague.
In regard to patients in the latter stages of dementia, 36% of physicians surveyed said they would honor a request for euthanasia made by a patient at the onset of the illness; 41.7% said they would not, and 22.3% were undecided.
For people who request the “right” to euthanasia because they are “tired of life,” 64.5% of survey respondents said they would not assist them, while 20.4% said they would fulfill the request.
However, 36.5% of doctors favor the introduction of the “Drion pill,” a medical kit that allows so-called “self-euthanasia” that people could keep in their medicine cabinets. 50.9% opposed the introduction of the suicide-by-another-name kit.
Finally, 89.1% of Dutch doctors disagreed with the statement, “Euthanasia has no place in general medical practice.”