Survey shows Greek doctors avoid ‘passive euthanasia’

Legal framework on matter absent in Greece

A recent survey showed that 91% of Greek doctors in intensive care units believe the gradual de-escalation of therapy in patients with low possibility of recovery was the more ethical approach to adopt, while 62% said that suspending life saving treatment was rarely or never done. The same study revealed that family and hospital staff participated in the decision to either continue or cut treatment in 11% and 34% of the cases, respectively. 51% of the doctors said they avoided recording such decisions on the patients’ charts for fear of legal repercussions. The questionnaire was filled in by 40% of doctors registered on the Intensive Care Association of Anesthesiologists of Northern Greece and the Greek Association of Intensive Care Therapy. Currently the is no legal framework in Greece regarding the practices of doctors in intensive care units governing instances of passive euthanasia.