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Assisted dying and medical practice: questions and considerations for healthcare organisations


Objectives Most clinical teams and organisations have not openly or formally discussed how they would react if physician-assisted suicide were to be legalised. This paper aims to discuss some of the potential challenges of introducing ‘assisted dying’ into medical care and produces a table of questions and considerations in light of such evidence so as to promote necessary discussion.

Methods An analysis of recent quantitative and qualitative studies from jurisdictions where ‘assisted dying’ is practised was conducted, with particular attention paid to studies which focus on the impact of legalising ‘assisted dying’ on clinical care.

Results ‘Assisted dying’ can have a significant impact on clinical practice by complicating patient care and increasing clinician workload, potentially causing stress on patient care.

Conclusions If physician-assisted suicide was to be legalised as part of existing healthcare, there are many questions that healthcare organisations must consider. Such considerations are tabulated in order to encourage awareness and discussion on the topic.

  • Ethics
  • End of life care

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