Table 1– Characteristics of the studied advanced lung cancer patients who died within 18 months after diagnosis of nonsmall cell lung cancer
All patientsPatients who had euthanasia wish, compared with those who did notPatients who had an explicit and repeated request compared with those who did notPatients who received euthanasia, compared with those who did not
WishNo wishp-value#RequestNo requestp-value#EuthanasiaNo euthanasiap-value#
Characteristics at inclusion of the patient in the study (source: specialist and patient)
 Subjects n10521841590897
 Age yrs64.6±9.963.2±10.664.9±9.70.57263.0±10.264.8 (9.9)0.60164.5±9.864.6±9.90.976
 Sex
  Male87 (82.9)18 (20.7)69 (79.3)1.00013 (14.9)74 (85.1)1.0007 (8.0)80 (92.0)1.000
  Female18 (17.1)3 (16.7)15 (83.3)2 (11.1)16 (88.9)1 (5.6)17 (94.4)
 Having a partner
  Yes76 (74.5)16 (21.1)60 (78.9)0.77511 (14.5)65 (85.5)1.0006 (7.9)70 (92.1)1.000
  No26 (25.5)4 (15.4)22 (84.6)3 (11.5)23 (88.5)2 (7.7)24 (92.3)
 Education
  Primary school18 (17.5)4 (22.2)14 (77.8)0.6752 (11.1)16 (88.9)0.3681 (5.6)17 (94.4)1.000
  Lower secondary37 (35.9)5 (13.5)32 (86.5)3 (8.1)34 (91.9)3 (8.1)34 (91.9)
  Higher secondary28 (27.2)6 (21.4)22 (78.6)4 (14.3)24 (85.7)2 (7.1)26 (92.9)
  Higher education20 (19.4)5 (25.0)15 (75.0)5 (25.0)15 (75.0)2 (10.0)18 (90.0)
 Contact with GP
  More than once a week5 (4.8)1 (20.0)4 (80.0)0.9311 (20.0)4 (80.0)0.9371 (20.0)4 (80.0)0.319
  Once a week8 (7.6)2 (25.0)6 (75.0)1 (12.5)7 (87.5)0 (0.0)8 (100.0)
  Once every two weeks13 (12.4)2 (15.4)11 (84.6)2 (15.4)11 (84.6)2 (15.4)11 (84.6)
  Once a month44 (41.9)10 (22.7)34 (77.3)7 (15.9)37 (84.1)2 (4.5)42 (95.5)
  Less (or no GP)35 (33.3)6 (17.1)29 (82.9)4 (11.4)31 (88.6)3 (8.6)32 (91.4)
 Treatment goal
  Life prolongation77 (74.0)12 (15.6)65 (84.4)0.0576 (7.8)71 (92.2)0.0033 (3.9)74 (96.1)0.027
  Palliation27 (26.0)9 (33.3)18 (66.7)18 (66.7)9 (33.3)5 (18.5)22 (81.5)
 Chemotherapy
  Yes85 (81.0)11 (12.9)74 (87.1)0.0017 (8.2)78 (91.8)0.0013 (3.5)82 (96.5)0.006
  No20 (19.0)10 (50.0)10 (50.0)8 (40.0)12 (60.0)5 (25.0)15 (75.0)
 Radiotherapy
  Yes30 (28.6)8 (26.7)22 (73.3)0.2915 (16.7)25 (83.3)0.7594 (13.3)26 (86.7)0.221
  No75 (74.1)13 (17.3)62 (82.7)10 (13.3)65 (86.7)4 (5.3)71 (94.7)
 Experimental therapy
  Yes5 (4.8)2 (40.0)3 (60.0)0.2611 (20.0)4 (80.0)0.5450 (0.0)5 (100.0)1.000
  No100 (95.2)19 (19.0)81 (81.0)14 (14.0)86 (86.0)8 (8.0)92 (92.0)
 Surgery
  Yes3 (2.9)2 (66.7)1 (33.3)0.1011 (33.3)2 (66.7)0.3731 (33.3)2 (66.7)0.213
  No102 (97.1)19 (18.6)83 (81.4)14 (13.7)88 (86.3)7 (6.9)95 (93.1)
 Treating hospital
  University51 (48.6)7 (13.7)44 (86.3)0.1466 (11.8)45 (88.2)0.5814 (7.4)47 (92.2)1.000
  General54 (51.4)14 (25.9)40 (74.1)9 (16.7)45 (83.3)4 (7.8)50 (92.6)
 Comorbidity+
  0 (No comorbidity)48 (45.7)7 (14.6)41 (85.4)0.4754 (8.3)44 (91.7)0.1292 (4.2)46 (95.8)0.020
  137 (35.2)8 (21.6)29 (78.4)5 (13.5)32 (86.5)1 (2.7)36 (97.3)
  215 (14.3)5 (33.3)10 (66.7)5 (33.3)10 (66.7)4 (26.7)11 (73.3)
  34 (3.8)1 (25.0)3 (75.0)1 (25.0)3 (75.0)1 (25.0)3 (75.0)
  41 (1.0)0 (0.0)1 (100.0)0 (0.0)1 (100.0)0 (0.0)1 (100.0)
 Characteristics near or at death (source: specialist or GP§)
 Performance status in last week before death¶,ƒ
  00 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0.3290 (0.0)0 (0.0)0.8310 (0.0)0 (0.0)0.566
  12 (2.1)0 (0.0)2 (100.0)0 (0.0)2 (100.0)0 (0.0)2 (100.0)
  25 (5.2)2 (40.0)3 (60.0)1 (20.0)4 (80.0)1 (20.0)4 (80.0)
  320 (20.6)2 (10.0)18 (90.0)2 (10.0)18 (90.0)1 (5.0)19 (95.0)
  470 (72.2)15 (21.4)55 (78.6)11 (15.7)59 (84.3)6 (8.6)64 (91.4)
 Median survival time in months after inclusion5.08.04.00.0217.05.00.11010.04.00.003
 Good death scores from 0 to 107.8±2.18.2±2.17.7±2.10.2198.5±1.47.6±2.20.1828.7±1.27.7±2.20.225
 Setting where patient died
  Specialist care73 (70.9)11 (15.1)62 (84.9)0.1809 (12.3)64 (87.7)0.4987 (9.6)66 (90.4)0.839
  GP care15 (14.6)5 (33.3)10 (66.7)3 (20.0)12 (80.0)1 (6.7)14 (93.3)
  Other (e.g. nursing home)15 (14.6)4 (26.6)11 (73.3)3 (20.0)12 (80.0)0 (0.0)15 (100.0)
 Sudden, unexpected death
  No94 (89.5)19 (20.2)75 (79.8)1.00015 (16.0)79 (84.0)0.3588 (8.5)86 (91.5)0.596
  Yes11 (10.5)2 (18.2)9 (81.8)0 (0.0)11 (100.0)0 (0.0)11 (100.0)
  • Data are presented as mean±sd or n (%), unless otherwise stated. #: significance testing with Mann–Whitney U or Fisher's exact test. Bold values indicate significant p-values. : missing values: n=3 for having a partner, n=2 for education, n=1 for treatment goal, n=8 for performance status in last week before death, n=8 for good death, n=2 for setting where patient died. +: comorbidity according to Charlson Index. §: according to the physician (GP or specialist) in which setting the patient died or if the patient died in another setting according to the physician who had the most contact with the patient in the last month before death. ƒ: performance status according to the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), ranging from 0 = fully active to 4 = completely disabled.