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Table 1 Prevalence of medical end-of-life practicesa in Switzerland 2013, by language region

From: Medical end-of-life practices in Swiss cultural regions: a death certificate study

Regions German-speaking French-speaking Italian-speaking
Number of non-sudden expected deaths (eligible for end-of-life decision) N = 2256 N = 992 N = 430
  %b 95% CI %b 95% CI %b 95% CI
No end-of-life practice 17.7% (16.2–19.3) 25.0% (22.4–27.9) 26.0% (22.0–30.3)
Forgoing life-prolonging treatment 49.4% (47.3–51.4) 31.6% (28.8–34.6) 34.8% (30.4–39.5)
- taking into account hastening of deathc 6.4% (5.4–7.5) 5.2% (4.0–6.7) 4.7% (3.0–7.1)
- intending hastening of deathd 43.0% (40.9–45.0) 26.5% (23.8–29.3) 30.1% (26–34.7)
Intensified alleviation of pain/symptoms 29.8% (28.0–31.7) 39.8% (36.8–42.9) 37.4% (33.0–42.1)
- taking into account hastening of deathe 26.9% (25.1–28.8) 36.6% (33.7–39.7) 33.8% (29.5–38.4)
- partly intending hastening of deathf 2.9% (2.3–3.7) 3.2% (2.3–4.5) 3.6% (2.2–5.8)
Physician-assisted death 3.1% (2.5–3.9) 3.5% (2.5–4.8) 1.8% (0.9–3.6)
- Assisted suicideg 1.6% (1.1–2.2) 1.2% (0.6–2.1)  
- Euthanasiah 0.5% (0.3–0.9) 0.5% (0.2–1.2) 0.5% (0.1–1.8)
- Ending of life without the patient’s explicit requesti 1.1% (0.8–1.6) 1.9% (1.2–2.9) 1.4% (0.6–3.0)
  1. aIf several practices were combined, the most explicit action was decisive; e.g., combinations of physician-assisted death with forgoing life-prolonging treatments or intensified alleviation of pain and symptoms were categorized under physician-assisted death
  2. b100% = all non-sudden expected deaths; percentages weighted to region-sex-age-specific response rates
  3. cAffirmative answer to the question, “Did you or another physician withhold or withdraw a medical treatment while taking into account the possible hastening of death?”
  4. dAffirmative answer to the question, “Did you or another physician withhold or withdraw a medical treatment with the intention to hasten death?”
  5. eAffirmative answer to the question, “Did you or another physician intensify the alleviation of pain and/or symptoms while taking into account the possible hastening of death?”
  6. fAffirmative answer to the question, “Did you or another physician intensify the alleviation of pain and/or symptoms partly with the intention to hasten death?”
  7. gAffirmative answer to the question, “Was death the consequence of the use of a drug that was prescribed or supplied by you or another physician with the explicit intention of enabling the patient to end his or her life?”
  8. hAffirmative answer to the question, “Was death the consequence of the use of a drug that was prescribed or supplied by you or another physician with the explicit intention of hastening the patient’s death?” AND affirmative answer to the question: “Was this decision made at the explicit request of the patient?”
  9. iAffirmative answer to the question, “Was death the consequence of the use of a drug that was prescribed or supplied by you or another physician with the explicit intention of hastening the patient’s death?” AND no affirmative answer to the question: “Was this decision made at the explicit request of the patient?”