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August 15, 2001

Patient-Physician Discussions About Physician-Assisted Suicide—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(7):788-789. doi:10.1001/jama.286.7.788

In Reply: In comparing Oregon physicians who received a request for a lethal prescription (n = 144) to those who did not (n = 2457), there were no differences in physician religious affiliation (Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, none, or other; P = .56), overall religiousness as measured on an 11-point Likert scale (P = .42), physician support vs opposition to the Death with Dignity Act (P = .39), or physicians' views on the morality of the Death with Dignity Act (P = .19). Because we neither hypothesized nor found relationships in these univariate analyses, we did not enter these variables into the logistic regression analysis. The increased odds of receiving a request among physicians willing to prescribe a lethal prescription compared with those who are unwilling or uncertain may reflect that some physicians (18 of 128 among whom the information was available) received the request because they accepted a referral from another health care worker or assisted suicide advocacy organization.

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