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Editor's Correspondence
July 24, 2000

Medical Students' Opinions of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in Italy

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Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(14):2226. doi:

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (E/PAS) issues have recently concentrated the attention of medical research, with the majority of studies documenting general agreement for legislation permitting these practices for patients with incurable terminal illnesses.1-3 This area has received less attention in Italy, where the law prosecutes those who practice E/PAS and the Italian Code of Medical Practice is openly against E/PAS, stating that "the physician, even if requested by the patient, should not use tools aimed at reducing the patients' psychic and physical integrity, hastening his/her death or causing his/her death."4 However, recent research has shown that among palliative care physicians,5 general practitioners, and hospital physicians6,7 one third are in favor of E/PAS.

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