Table 3.

Comprehension of the legal status of end-of-life practices by scenario: N = 271.

SCENARIO NO.CLINICAL PRACTICES AT THE END OF LIFECURRENT LEGAL STATUS AT THE TIME OF THE STUDYTHINK THE PRACTICE IS CURRENTLY LEGAL, N (%)THINK THE PRACTICE WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IF MEDICAL AID IN DYING WERE LEGALIZED, N (%)*
1Withdrawal of potentially life-prolonging treatmentLegal147 (54.2)220 (81.2)
2Use of opioids adjusted to symptom reliefLegal224 (82.7)216 (92.3)
3Use of potentially lethal medication above what is needed for symptom relief
  • administered by the patient (oral barbiturates)
Illegal4 (1.5)59 (21.8)
4  • administered by the health care professional (intravenous opioids above what is needed for symptom relief)Illegal4 (1.5)107 (39.5)
5  • administered by the health care professional (barbiturates and a neuromuscular blocking agent)Illegal2 (0.7)74 (27.3)
6  • administered by the health care professional upon a relative’s request (barbiturates and a neuromuscular blocking agent)Illegal1 (0.4)88 (34.6)
  • * Totals for each characteristic might be different owing to missing data.