Swiss Families' Experiences of Interactions with Providers during Assisted Suicide : A Secondary Data Analysis of an Interview Study

Gamondi, Claudia and Pott, Murielle and Preston, Nancy and Payne, Sheila (2020) Swiss Families' Experiences of Interactions with Providers during Assisted Suicide : A Secondary Data Analysis of an Interview Study. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 23 (4). pp. 506-512. ISSN 1096-6218

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Context: Families are known to be involved in assisted dying and their involvement can be influenced by many factors. Objectives: To explore how Swiss families interact with health care professionals and right-to-die associations regarding assisted suicide and their choices around disclosure. Methods: A secondary data analysis on a cross-sectional qualitative interview study conducted in the Italian- and French-speaking parts of Switzerland was conducted. Interviews with 28 bereaved family members were analyzed using framework analysis. Results: Two main themes were identified: (1) Interactions with physicians and right-to-die associations. (2) Choices about disclosing their experiences. In general, families believed that assisted suicide is a private matter, to be pursued mainly outside the medical field and involved physicians only when necessary. Families appeared to deliberately limit interaction with physicians and to be more comfortable interacting with the right-to-die associations. Some participants presumed a clear choice between assisted suicide or palliative care. Disclosing to others the decision, and preparation of assisted suicide emerged to be an important emotional burden for families. Some family members preferred to restrict disclosure before and after assisted suicide, by sometimes not informing other family members until the final days. Conclusion s : In Switzerland, there is limited interaction between families and health care professionals concerning assisted suicide decisions, whereas families reported more open interactions with right-to-die associations. It is recommended that the needs of families should be reflected in health policies, taking into consideration the different contexts where assisted dying is permitted.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Palliative Medicine
Additional Information:
Final publication is available from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? anesthesiology and pain medicinenursing(all)medicine(all) ??
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Deposited On:
25 Nov 2019 11:40
Last Modified:
07 Jul 2024 23:40