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BOSTON, Oct 1 (LSN) – Today’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine addresses assisted suicide or patients of Lou Gehrig’s disease. A newly released study claims that “Fifty-six percent of the respondents said they would consider taking a lethal dose of medication if it were legal to do so;  all but one would use the drug at some undefined time in the future.” Dr. Linda Ganzini from the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland led the study which surveyed 100 victims in Oregon and Washington state.  The subjects in the study were marked by the following characteristics   11% clinically depressed 91% felt the disease was a burden to their family 65% felt they were a burden to their family 48% noted family hardship   The study indicated that factors which decreased the wish for suicide were   HOPE (“84% of the patients who would not consider physician-assisted suicide looked “forward to the future with hope and enthusiasm,” as compared with 52% of those who would consider suicide”)  RELIGIOSITY (“As compared with the patients who would not consider physician-assisted suicide, those who would were mostly men and were better educated and less religious.”)  To see an editorial on the study in the NEJM go to:  https://www.nejm.org/content/1998/0339/0014/0987.asp

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