Table 2

Arguments for patient's suffering being unbearable or hopeless. (Questions phrased from the standard form of the reporting physician)

n = 1581

%


Could the suffering be considered unbearable? Please motivate.

Symptoms2

62

Pain

32

Dyspnoea

22

Fatigue

15

Nausea/vomiting

15

Incontinence/diarrhoea/constipation

6

Cachexia

6

Confusion

3

Fear

3

Other3

9

Function loss2

33

Bedridden

19

Appetite/thirst/eating- and swallowing capacity

10

Language

4

Other4

4

Other aspects2

63

Dependency

28

Deterioration/general malaise

15

Hopelessness, no treatment possible

13

Loss of autonomy/identity

4

Loss of dignity

2

Mentally exhausted

7

Other5

16


Could the suffering be considered hopeless? Please motivate.

No treatments possible

32

No curative treatments possible

28

No treatments to relieve symptoms possible

3

No curative treatments + treatments to relieve symptoms possible

11

Short life expectancy

8

Other6

9

Not clearly specified in the report

8


1. In 8 cases (4%) the nature of patient's suffering was explained, but no explicit arguments for the suffering being unbearable were given.

2. More than one aspect could be mentioned.

3. Other include: decubitus, edema, epileptic insults, itch, and cough.

4. Other include: cognitive function, sleeping problems and general physical functioning.

5. Other include: loneliness, to be a burden to relatives, losing interest, mental suffering, no quality of life.

6. Other include: no differentiation between unbearable and hopeless suffering, worsening expected.

Buiting et al. BMC Medical Ethics 2009 10:18   doi:10.1186/1472-6939-10-18

Open Data