Nurses' Attitudes to Active Voluntary Euthanasia: A Survey in the ACT
Kitchener, Betty A.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 1998 Apr; 22(2): 276-278.
National public opinion polls show a large majority of Australians are in favour of active voluntary euthanasia (AVE). However, most members of the public have had only limited direct experience with dying people. For this reason, surveys of the opinions of medical practitioners and nurses on this issue are of great interest. The present study involved a postal survey in late 1996 of 2,000 randomly selected registered nurses from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The ACT has had extensive public debate about this issue. The questionnaire included some questions asked in earlier Australian surveys of the general public and health practitioners. Responses were received from 1218 nurses (61%). A majority of nurses who responded supported AVE as 'sometimes right', be it homicide by request (72%) or physician-assisted suicide (71%). A slightly smaller majority believed the law should be changed to allow homicide by request (69%) and physician-assisted suicide (67%). If AVE were legal, 66% of the nurses indicated they were willing to be involved in the procedure. Only 30% were willing to assist patients to give themselves the lethal dose, while 14% were willing to administer the lethal dose to the patient. Comparing these results with previous surveys, it appears that nurses are less in favour of AVE than the public, but more in favour than medical practitioners.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.