Background: Ethical problems about end-of-life medicine include a variety of issues approached in different ways by physicians and, more recently, special emphasis to this kind of ethical issues and possible answers has done by Italian National Ethical Committee in the issue named “Deep and continuous palliative sedation in the imminence of Death” (January, 2016). The debate is very critical in Intensive Care Units and Cancer Wards, where health care professionals face-off with terminally-ill patients is an outright routine; the Authors investigated their medical knowledge and ethical perception about patient critical and terminal condition to discuss the most relevant conclusions.Material: In the Sicilian province of Palermo, physicians working in Intensive Care and Oncology fields were been given a questionnaire that takes inspiration from the Ethicatt Questionnaire-Doctor. The authors reported the results obtained, by selecting and analyzing the most involved questions about living wills.Results: Generally, the respondents showed a great sensibility on this topic. Overall agreement on the living will was observed, as past surveys, but also a new conception. Euthanasia remains not very popular, attitude in line with other countries. Opinions and aptitudes of relatives have minor importance towards patient’s wishes, that are in some cases in first place.Conclusion: Explicit positive answer towards dilemmas about living wills lifts the veil and reveals how these ones would represent a very useful tool for health care professionals in this study. It is also plausible that, if doctors had available an advance directive (living will) document, they would follow it, overcoming any contingent ethical objections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEgyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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