Lege Artis Medicinae

[Euthanasia movements in Europe]


AUGUST 31, 1993

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1993;3(08)

[The development of modern medicine has meant that the majority of people who are dying today die in hospital. Medicine has extended the life span of people, and we are living much longer. The period of terminal illness is also being prolonged and this dying process is often artificially prolonged. Dying people are forced to endure many painful, useless interventions at the end of their lives, often because they are not informed about their condition and cannot decide their own fate. Various devices are used to "keep alive" unconscious human wrecks for years or decades. The euthanasia movement has emerged in the world over the last decades as an alternative to artificial life support, the so-called 'rage to cure'. ]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The relationship between genetic polymorphism of apolipoprotein E and atherosclerosis and its relevance with clinical practice]


[The lipoprotein metabolism, having crucial role in atherogenesis is regulated by apolipo proteins, lipoprotein receptors and lipidtrans ferase enzymes. The genetic polymorphism of these proteins has been reported to be associated with lipid disorders. Beneath the rare forms (familial hypercholesterolemia, familial defective apo B syndrome) the most important monogenetic dyslipoproteinemia seems to be related to the apolipoprotein E polymorphism. The mean serum cholesterol concentration is influenced by the different apo E phenoytpes (E4 with high, E2 with low cholesterol level). In Hungary, the allele-frequencies (22 0,06, 22 0,80, 34 0,12) and the effect of apo E alleles on cholesterol concentration are very similar to the results found in other populations. Apo E polymorphism shows association with 1. hyperlipoproteinemia type III (E 2/2); 2. dyslipoproteinemia in familial hypercholeste rolemia (E2); 3. premature coronary heart disease (E4); 4. hypercholesterolemia in some populaton (E4); 5. insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in the Hungarian population (E2); 6. the rate of intestinal cholesterol absorption in some population (E4 with higher capacity). In such conditions the determination of apo E phenotype or genotype is very important to reveal the risks of the atherosclerosis and to asses the optimal hypolipidemic therapy.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Transvaginal color doppler in early pregnancy]

SZABÓ István, CSABAY László, NÉMET János, PAPP Zoltán

[The authors performed serial examinations using a transvaginal transducer with color Doppler facilities in normal and pathologic early pregnancies in order to examine the circulatory changes in the female genital tract and developing embryo. This is a preliminary study demonstrating the application of TVCD and summarizing the main circulatory characteristics in early pregnancy as a part of a detailed program investigating circulation in the first trimester of pregnancy. Parallel with the implantation as a result of trophoblast induction the branches of the uterine arteries can be visualized by TVCD, and characteristic ilus velocity waveform can be identified in each portion of this network. No diastolic flow can be detected in the embryonic arteries until 12–14 weeks of gestation. The fetal heart rate shows a characteristic change between the 5th and the 14th week of gestation. Examination of the circulatory changes in pathologic early pregnancies helps to establish an exact clinical diagnosis and to choose the proper treatment. The recent advent of the transvaginal probe with color Doppler imaging has permitted accurate studies of the circulatory changes in the female reproductive organs to be performed and provided more information about physiologic and pathologic processes in early pregnancy than all the non-invasive systems developed previously. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae


GÁBOR Zsuzsa

[In the May issue of your newspaper, we published the musings of doctor Lajos Matos, who complained about the "pains of screening". It is feared that a supplement could be filled with not so much refuting the arguments put forward to justify his concerns, but rather adding to them. It is worth reflecting, however, at least at the level of the list, because the train of thought, which has forgotten important aspects (and facts), has led to a very depressing conclusion. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Relative antithrombotic effects of aspirin and of F(ab')2 fragments of an antibody blocking glycoprotein IIB/IIIA receptor]

KISS Róbert Gábor, JEAN-MARIE Stassen, TANIA Roskams, DÉSIRÉ Collen

[The antithrombotic effect of heparin (control group, 100 U/kg bolus and 50 U/kg/hr infusion), of heparin and aspirin (ASA group, 10 mg/kg bolus) and of heparin and F(ab')2 fragments of the murine monoclonal antibody against the platelet glycoprotein lib/Illa (GPIb/Illa) receptor (7E3-F/ab'/2 group, 0.8 mg/kg bolus) were studied in 3 groups of dogs with a 3 cm long everted (inside-out) segment of the carotid artery inserted into the femoral artery and a superimposed constriction which reduced blood flow to 35% of baseline.ASA and 7E3-F(ab')2 caused inhibition of ex vivo platelet aggregation with a decrease from 63 + 8 to 16 + 10% (mean + SEM, p < 0.001) in the ASA group and from 57 £ 5 to 0% in the 7Ė3-F(ab”)2 group. The template bleeding time increased in the ASA group (from 1.4 + 0.2 to 2.9 + 0.4 min, p < 0.05) and in the 7E3-f(ab')2 group (from 1.4 + 0.2 to 51 + 12.6 min, p < 0.001). In the control group the everted segments occluded and remained closed in 6 dogs and showed cyclic flow reduction phenomena in the 5 other dogs. In the ASA group inserted arteries occluded and remained closed in 5 dogs and showed cyclic flow reduction in 4 dogs; one segment remained open (p = 0.69 compared to control). In the 7E3-F(ab')2 group all segments remained patent (p < 0.001 compared to the control and to the ASA group). Thus, the GPllb/Illa blocking monoclonal antibody is significantly more effective than aspirin in the prevention of platelet mediated arterial occlusion. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Significance of intracranial lipomas in connection with a rare case ]


[Intracranial lipomas are rare lesions which are diagnosed in about 0,08% of autopsy cases. An intracranial lipoma in the left Sylvian area of a 93 year old woman was incidentally observed during autopsy. Histological findings supported the diagnosis based on the macroscopic characteristic features. Intracranial lipomas, which are predominantly localized in the median areas are presently considered as develop mental anomalies of the subarachnoid space and not as real tumors. The theory of their pathogenesis explains the other developmental brain anomalies that are often associated with the lesion, as well as the finding of intralipomal vessels and cranial nerves. Though such lipomas are usually asymptomatic, several cases were demonstrated to be associated with seizures. Other symptoms may include hydrocephalus, headaches, behavio ral disorders, focal neurological signs. Diagnosis is based on CT or MRI findings. Intracranial lipomas are usually treated symptomatically and surgical treatment is seldom indicated In most cases shunt operations are performed, since resection is difficult and complete relief of symptoms cannot be expected as a result. ]

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[Europe’s highest COVID-19 mortality experienced behind the former iron curtain]


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Clinical Neuroscience

Utilization of acute vascular imaging and neurointervention for acute ischaemic stroke patients in 20 Hungarian stroke centers

POZSEGOVITS Krisztián, SZABÓ Géza, SZUPERA Zoltán, NAGY Péter, NÉMETH László, KONDÁKOR István, TUSA Csaba, BERENTE László, SALACZ Pál, VÉCSEI László, SAS Katalin, SEMJÉN Judit, NIKL János, SZAPÁRY László, KAKUK Anikó, RÓZSA Csilla, HORVÁTH Melinda, IMRE Piroska, KÖVES Ágnes, BALOGH István, MOLNÁR Sándor, FOLYOVICH András, AL-MUHANNA Nadim, BÉRES-MOLNÁR Katalin Anna, HAHN Katalin, KRISTÓF Piroska, SZÁSZ Attila Sándor, SZŰCS Anna, BERECZKI Dániel

Background - Acute mortality rate of stroke in Hungary is significantly higher than in Western Europe, which is likely to be partially attributable to suboptimal treatment. Subjects and methods - We examined the use of acute vascular imaging and mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischaemic stroke patients. We collected data on 20 consecutive patients from Hungarian stroke centres before 31st August 2016. Results - Out of the reported 410 patients, 166 (40.4%) underwent CT angiography and 44 (10.7%) had mechanical thrombectomy. Conclusion - Only about 1/3 of acute ischaemic stroke patients eligible for thrombectomy actually had it. The underlying reasons include long onset-to-door time, low utilization of acute vessel imaging and a limited neuro­intervention capacity needing improvement.

Clinical Neuroscience

Comparison of hospitalized acute stroke patients’ characteristics using two large central-eastern european databases

ORBÁN-KIS Károly, SZŐCS Ildikó, FEKETE Klára, MIHÁLKA László, CSIBA László, BERECZKI Dániel, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs

Objectives – Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the European region. In spite of a decreasing trend, stroke related mortality remains higher in Hungary and Romania when compared to the EU average. This might be due to higher incidence, increased severity or even less effective care. Methods – In this study we used two large, hospital based databases from Targu Mures (Romania) and Debrecen (Hungary) to compare not only the demographic characteristics of stroke patients from these countries but also the risk factors, as well as stroke severity and short term outcome. Results – The gender related distribution of patients was similar to those found in the European Survey, whereas the mean age of patients at stroke onset was similar in the two countries but lower by four years. Although the length of hospital stay was significantly different in the two countries it was still much shorter (about half) than in most reports from western European countries. The overall fatality rate in both databases, regardless of gender was comparable to averages from Europe and other countries. In both countries we found a high number of risk factors, frequently overlapping. The prevalence of risk factors (hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidaemia) was higher than those reported in other countries, which can explain the high ratio of recurring stroke. Discussion – In summary, the comparatively analyzed data from the two large databases showed several similarities, especially regarding the high number of modifiable risk factors, and as such further effort is needed regarding primary prevention.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Health status and costs of ambulatory patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary]

PÉNTEK Márta, GULÁCSI László, RÓZSA Csilla, SIMÓ Magdolna, ILJICSOV Anna, KOMOLY Sámuel, BRODSZKY Valentin

[Background and purpose - Data on disease burden of multiple sclerosis from Eastern-Central Europe are very limited. Our aim was to explore the quality of life, resource utilisation and costs of ambulating patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary. Methods - Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was performed in two outpatient neurology centres in 2009. Clinical history, health care utilisation in the past 12 months were surveyed, the Expanded Disability Status Scale and the EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was conducted from the societal perspective. Results - Sixty-eight patients (female 70.6%) aged 38.0 (SD 9.1) with disease duration of 7.8 (SD 6.7) years were involved. Fifty-five (80.9%) had relapsing-remitting form and 52 (76.5%) were taking immunomodulatory drug. The average scores were: Expanded Disability Status Scale 1.9 (SD 1.7), EQ-5D 0.67 (SD 0.28). Mean total cost amounted to 10 902 Euros/patient/year (direct medical 67%, direct nonmedical 13%, indirect costs 20%). Drugs, disability pension and informal care were the highest cost items. Costs of mild (Expanded Disability Status Scale 0-3.5) and moderate (Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0-6.5) disease were 9 218 and 17 634 Euros/patient/year respectively (p<0.01), that is lower than results from Western European countries. Conclusion - Our study provides current inputs for policy making and contributes to understanding variation of costof- illness of multiple sclerosis in Europe.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Attitudes towards end-of-life decisions among neonatology intensive care workers – Legal aspects behind decisions ]

FEITH Helga Judit, SALLAI Eszter Zsófia, SOÓSNÉ Kiss Zsuzsanna, GÉZSI András, GRADVOHL Edina, KOVÁCS Aranka, BERBIK István, SZABÓ Miklós

[Minors’ end-of-life dilemmas are among the most difficult decisions. Premature infants’ chance of survival has greatly improved thanks to the development of technology. Under-age children’s quality of life, as an aspect, does not appear in the effective Hungarian legislation. The aim of our study is to survey the change in NICU (neonatology intensive care unit) workers’ opinions/attitudes after a 20-year-period about restrictions in severely impaired new-borns’ intensive cares. Quantitative, complete sociological surveys in the Hungarian NICUs using self-administered, anonymous questionnaires (n = 728). Cross-Tabulation analysis and Pearson chi-squared test have been used for the data evaluation. In both studies, the majority of participants agreed that if the condition is fatal, it may be appropriate to limit the intensive care. Acceptance of treatment withdrawal has increased, but active euthanasia is still not accepted. Most healthcare workers are unsatisfied with the current legal order and there is a need for change, especially in cases of fatal and poor prognosis. Despite the fact that the effective Hungarian health care regulation does not allow withdrawal of treatment even in severe conditions, a significant number of those working at Hungarian NICUs would consider it as acceptable in some cases, moreover the share of acceptance has in­creased in the last two decades. Comparing the results with the current regulations, it can be suggested that it is necessary to increase the sensitivity of the legislators and to change the related legislation.]