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Physician Assisted Suicide: Knowledge and Views of Fifth-Year Medical Students in Germany

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Suicide and assisted suicide are not criminal acts in Germany. However, attempting suicide may create a legal duty for physicians to try to save a patient's life. This study presents data on medical students' legal knowledge and ethical views regarding physician assisted suicide (PAS). The majority of 85 respondents held PAS to be illegal. More than a third of the students viewed PAS in certain situations to be ethically acceptable whereas a smaller proportion thought that it should be legal. Compared with German physicians the medical students taking part in this study were less opposed to PAS. The majority perceived the undergraduate training concerning ethical aspect of assisted death as deficient.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany 2: Department of Haematology, Oncology and Tumour Immunology, Robert Roessle Clinic, Helios Clinics Berlin, Charite, Universitary Medicine Berlin, Germany 3: Center of Clinical Trials, Philipps–University, Marburg, Germany 4: Institute for General Practice, Charité, Universitary Medicine Berlin, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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