Statistical analysis The categorical data were described using frequencies and percentages. Univariate and bivariate analyses were tested with the exact Fisher test instead of a standard Chi square because of the low Alisertib numbers in some
categories. It tests the relation between a variable and a particular medical decision, i.e. whether the observed distribution of a variable for a particular medical Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical decision is different from cases without this medical decision. Logistic regressions were performed for each medical decision with more than 150 observed cases, taking into account both patients’ and physicians’ characteristics. All tests were performed at a significance level of 1%. Logistic regressions (not shown) were performed to determine the variables or characteristics that remain significant, all other variables held constant. The results section focuses on the significant effects of these variables. The statistical Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical analyses were performed using the SAS Version 9.2 statistical software package. Ethics This survey was approved by the Comité Consultatif sur le Traitement de l’Information en Matière de Recherche dans le Domaine de la Santé (CCTIRS) in January 2010 and authorized by the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical data protection
committee (CNIL, – authorization No. 1410166 at sitting 2010–107 of 15 April 2010). Results End-of-life medical decisions We had to exclude 168 cases Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical owing to missing data. Sudden deaths (n=798) amounted to 16.9% of the total (Table (Table1).1). For 2,252 non-sudden deaths, one or more decisions were made that possibly or certainly hastened death. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical For almost half of these deaths, there were two or more decisions. In 34% of all deaths, a life-prolonging treatment was withheld; in 11% it was withdrawn. In 29% of cases alleviation of pain and/symptoms was intensified and
in 0.8% a medication was administered deliberately to hasten death. Table 1 Frequency of all the different end-of-life medical decisions Considering only the most important decision for each death, the proportion of cases with administration of medication to deliberately hasten death does not change (0.8% of all deaths). Of these 38 decisions, 11 were at the patient’s request. The physician reported increasing opioid Rebamipide and/or benzodiazepine doses in another 28% of all deaths. Withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment was decided in 4% of all deaths, and life-prolonging treatment was withheld in another 15% of all cases. These medical decisions were made with the explicit intention to hasten death in 0.8%, 0.8%, 0.7% of cases, respectively. In all, considering only the most important medical decisions, 3.1% of all deaths followed a decision to hasten death. For 12.