There have been intensive debates about euthanasia and attempts to
change laws on euthanasia in all countries. What doctors and particularly
oncologists think about euthanasia must be taken into consideration, as
their voices are crucial in this dialogue. The aim of this study was to
find out how Turkish doctors approach euthanasia in the context of cancer.
A questionnaire was used to collect data from 85 oncologists out of a
total 800 in active oncology practice.
Of the oncologists surveyed, 43.8% did not object to euthanasia. Some
33.7% had been asked to perform euthanasia and 41.5% believed that
euthanasia was performed secretly although it is against the law in
Turkey. Forty-two doctors (50.6%) noted that they had withdrawn treatment
Doctors who encounter terminally ill patients with cancer should
update their knowledge about patients' rights and euthanasia.
Doctors, who are often asked to perform euthanasia, especially in the
cancer setting, can help to illuminate the debates about euthanasia.