Title

Does being against euthanasia legislation equate to being anti-euthanasia?

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Cartwright, CM, Williams, GM, Parker, MH & Steinberg, MA 2006, 'Does being against euthanasia legislation equate to being anti-euthanasia?', Internal Medicine Journal, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 256-259.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2006.01053.x

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This study investigated issues raised in qualitative data from our previous studies of health professionals and community members, which suggested that being opposed to euthanasia legislation did not necessarily equate to being anti-euthanasia per se. A postal survey of 1002 medical practitioners, 1000 nurses and 1200 community members was undertaken. In addition to a direct question on changing the law to allow active voluntary euthanasia (AVE), four statements assessed attitudes to euthanasia with or without a change in legislation. Responses were received from 405 doctors (43%), 429 nurses (45%) and 405 community members (38%). Compared with previous studies there was a slight increase in support for a change in the law from medical practitioners, a slight decrease in support from community members and almost no change among nurses. Different interpretations of the results of the four attitude questions are possible, depending on the perspective of the interpreter.