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Health Line

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ASSESSING PATIENT’S VIEWS ON DEATH
A simple ‘ true -or-false’ questionnaire could help reveal how dying patients view death and their end -of-life care, according to a report in cancer.

While it is intended more as a tool to aid research in dying patients, the questionnaire -- called the Schedule of Attitudes toward Hastened Death (SAHD) --could also serve as a measurement of a patient’s desire to die, according to researchers.

The questions could allow doctors with terminally ill patients to find out things they may be less tha comfortable asking -- from how they feel about their care to whether they have suicidal
thoughts, Dr. Barry Rosenfeld said.

In the ongoing debate over physician-assisted suicide, the questionnaire may also shed light on exactly what factors may prompt patients to request help in hastening death.

Although most doctors can discuss end-of-life issues with their patients, some are uncomfortable with the subject and hopefully, may be able to use SAHD questions to break the barrier, he said.

(As reported in The Hindu Business Lines)

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