Sigrid Dierickx

Sigrid Dierickx
Ghent University | UGhent

PhD in Health Sciences

About

21
Publications
5,427
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344
Citations
Introduction
Sigrid Dierickx, PhD, is a social health scientist and a senior researcher at the End-of-Life Care Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University, Belgium. She is also a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen). Her research focuses on medical end of life decisions, family caregiving and bereavement care.
Additional affiliations
October 2020 - present
Research Foundation Flanders
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2018 - present
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2018 - present
Ghent University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2013 - June 2014
KU Leuven
Field of study
  • Health care management & policy
September 2009 - June 2013
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Sociology

Publications

Publications (21)
Article
Full-text available
Background: In the international debate about assisted dying, it is commonly stated that euthanasia is incompatible with palliative care. In Belgium, where euthanasia was legalized in 2002, the Federation for Palliative Care Flanders has endorsed the viewpoint that euthanasia can be embedded in palliative care. Aim: To examine the involvement of pa...
Article
Full-text available
Assisted dying practices, which include euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS), have expanded significantly around the world over the past 20 years. Euthanasia refers to the act of intentionally ending the life of a patient by a health care practitioner through medical means at that patient's explicit request while PAS involves the provisi...
Article
Objectives: Although general practice is an ideal setting for ensuring timely initiation of advance care planning (ACP) in people with chronic life-limiting illness, evidence on the effectiveness of ACP in general practice and how it can be implemented is lacking. This study aims to evaluate feasibility and acceptability of study procedures and int...
Article
Objectives To study changes in the peer consultation practice of assessing assisted dying requests and its quality among trained ‘Life End Information Forum’ (LEIF) consultants in Belgium between 2008 and 2019. Methods Cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2008 (N=132) and 2019 (N=527) among all registered LEIF consultants. Results The response ra...
Article
Full-text available
As previous research has paid little attention to environmental factors affecting the practice of continuous deep sedation until death (CDS), we aimed to explore these using physicians’ experiences and perceptions. We performed an interpretative thematic analysis of primary data from a qualitative interview study conducted from February to May 2019...
Article
Background Due to medical advances and an increasingly ageing population, the number of people living with a serious illness is rising. This has major implications for the burden on family members of assisting with care. Support of family caregivers by healthcare professionals is needed to ensure they can provide quality care for people with seriou...
Article
Full-text available
Background Worldwide, millions of people with advanced cancer and their family caregivers are experiencing physical and psychological distress. Psychosocial support and education can reduce distress and prevent avoidable healthcare resource use. To date, we lack knowledge from large-scale studies on which interventions generate positive outcomes fo...
Article
Physicians have been subject to increasing external control to improve their medical practice, and scholars have theorized extensively about their opposition to such control. However, little empirical attention has been paid to the views and reasoning that lie behind this opposition. An in-depth understanding is necessary for enhancing the effectiv...
Article
In addition to palliative care delivery at home or in hospital, palliative day care centres occupy an in-between position in palliative care. In palliative day care centres, multidisciplinary teams provide holistic care and support for people with (chronic) life-limiting conditions, or clients, in a homely surrounding, allowing them to remain livin...
Article
Introduction: Upon prenatal diagnosis of congenital malformations, termination of pregnancy (TOP) may be an option, sometimes when the foetus is already viable (late TOP). This study aims to study attitudes towards late TOP of all tertiary healthcare professionals involved in late TOP practice. Material and methods: Mail survey among all physici...
Article
Objectives To describe and compare euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (EAS) practice in Flanders, Belgium (BE), the Netherlands (NL) and Switzerland (CH). Methods Mortality follow-back surveys among attending physicians of a random sample of death certificates. Results We studied 349 EAS deaths in BE (4.6% of all deaths), 851 in NL (4.6% o...
Article
Context: According to guideline recommendations, barbiturates and neuromuscular relaxants are the recommended drugs for euthanasia. Objectives: To describe changes over time in drugs used to perform euthanasia and differences in case characteristics according to the drugs used. Methods: Repeated population-based mortality follow-back study amo...
Thesis
Euthanasia is subject of intense debate in many countries where life expectancy is high and degenerative diseases are the leading causes of death. In Belgium, euthanasia can be practiced under strict, legally defined conditions since 2002. Concerns about developments in euthanasia practice in Belgium persist, particularly abroad. Additionally, empi...
Article
Background: Death certificates are the main source of information on the incidence of the direct and underlying causes of death, but may be unsuitable for monitoring the practice of medical assistance in dying, e.g. euthanasia, due to possible underreporting. This study examines the accuracy of certification of euthanasia. Methods: Mortality fol...
Article
Full-text available
Background Euthanasia for people who are not terminally ill, such as those suffering from psychiatric disorders or dementia, is legal in Belgium under strict conditions but remains a controversial practice. As yet, the prevalence of euthanasia for people with psychiatric disorders or dementia has not been studied and little is known about the chara...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In 2002, the Belgian Act on Euthanasia came into effect, regulating the intentional ending of life by a physician at the patient's explicit request. We undertook this study to describe trends in officially reported euthanasia cases in Belgium with regard to patients' sociodemographic and clinical profiles, as well as decision-making an...
Article
Background: Human errors occur everywhere, including in health care. Not only the patient, but also the involved health professional is affected (ie, the "second victim"). Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of health care professionals being personally involved in a patient safety incident (PSI), as well as the relationship of involvement...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the shifts in the expression and granting of euthanasia requests between 2007 and 2013 and the reasons that physicians granted or denied these requests. Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002.¹ Between 2007 and 2013, the prevalence of euthanasia in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, increased from 1.9% to 4.6% of all d...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
In recent decades substantial changes have emerged in end-of-life care due to the considerable number of deaths that are preceded by a long-term and progressive illness and the increasing influence of medical-technological interventions. Medical end-of-life decisions have become a substantial part of contemporary medical practice. These can include decisions that influence the patient’s lifespan such as euthanasia (i.e. the administration of drugs with the explicit intention to end the patient’s life at the patient’s explicit request), a practice that became legal in Belgium in 2002. The frequency or incidence of medical end-of life practices such as euthanasia, but also the social-demographic patterns in their application (e.g. are there any risk groups or vulnerable groups), and the characteristics of the decision-making (e.g. are patient, family, and other healthcare providers involved in the decision) need to be monitored. First, trends and developments in end-of-life practices provide insight into evolution in the quality of end-of-life practices, and practical and ethical priorities for medical practice at the end of life can be identified. Second, further developments since the euthanasia law need to be monitored. Given the ethical contentiousness of euthanasia, particularly abroad, international concerns about developments in end-of-life practice in Belgium persist. This study aims to provide representative data on the prevalence and major background characteristics of the euthanasia practice in Flanders and Belgium. Based on a comparison with previous similar data collections relevant trends and evolutions in the euthanasia practice will be evaluated. Datasets used to achieve this goal: 1) 4th Study of Medical End-of-Life Practices This post-mortem survey on end-of-life decisions using a representative sample of death certificates was performed in Flanders, Belgium in 2013. The survey is a replica of 3 previous large scale nationwide studies held in Flanders in 1998, 2001 and 2007. This will allow us to identify relevant trends and developments in the euthanasia practice in Flanders. 2) Official database of reported cases of euthanasia from the Belgian Federal Control and Evaluation Committee (2002-2013) All cases of euthanasia must be reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee for review. The database consists of information collected from the official standardized euthanasia form sent in by the reporting physicians. This database allows us to study the characteristics of all reported cases of euthanasia in Belgium since implementation of the euthanasia law until 2013.