Monday 22 September 2014


There is ample evidence of a diversity of opinion within the medical profession, with an arguable majority in favour of legislative change, as these following surveys reveal.

In 1987, Kuhse and Singer1 reported the results of a survey of 869 Victorian Doctors:

In 1993, Baume and O'Malley2 surveyed 1268 NSW doctors:

In 1994, Stevens and Hassan3 surveyed 298 SA doctors:

In 1996, the RACGP4 surveyed 886 members:

In 1997, Steinberg et al5 surveyed 259 Queensland doctors:

In 1997, Kuhse et al6 published their survey of Australian end-of-life decisions (comparable to the Dutch Remmelink studies). From this survey of 1918 Australian doctors, they estimated that:

In 2001, Douglas et al7 published their survey of 683 Australian general surgeons

The Australian Medical Association and many, but not all other medical associations are opposed to legalising voluntary euthanasia. Medical societies in the Netherlands and Oregon are neutral on the issue and the Australian Doctors Reform Society supports voluntary euthanasia under safeguards similar to those used in the Netherlands.


  1. Kuhse H, Singer P. 'Doctors' practises and attitudes regarding voluntary euthanasia.' Med. J. Aust 1988, 148: 623-627
  2. Baume P, O'Malley E. 'Euthanasia; attitudes and practises of medical practitioners.' Med. J. Aust. 1994; 161: 137-144
  3. Stevens CA, Hassan R. 'Management of death, dying and euthanasia; attitudes and practices of medical practitioners in South Australia.' J. Medical Ethics 1994; 20: 41-46
  4. Wilson I, Kay B, Steven I. 'General practitioners and euthanasia.' Aust Fam Phys 1997; 26: 399-401
  5. Steinberg MA, Najman JM, Cartwright CM, MacDonald SM, Williams GM 'End-of-life decision-making: community and medical practitioners' perspectives. ' Med J Aust 1997; 166: 131-134
  6. Kuhse H, Singer P, Baume P, Clark M, Rickard M. 'End-of-life decisions in Australian medical practice.' Med J Aust 1997; 166: 191-196
  7. Douglas C, Kerridge I, Rainbird K, McPhee J, Hancock L, Spigelman A. 'The intention to hasten death: a survey of attitudes and practices of surgeons in Australia.' Med J Aust 2001; 175: