The influence of death attitudes and knowledge of end of life options on attitudes toward physician-assisted suicide

Omega (Westport). 2008-2009;58(4):299-311. doi: 10.2190/om.58.4.c.


End of life decisions, such as physician-assisted suicide (PAS), have continued to be controversial as health care policy, moral, and individual health care issues. This study considers knowledge of end of life options and death attitudes as predictors of attitudes toward PAS. Data were gathered from approximately 300 adults through a mailing sent to a household research panel. Validated measures of attitudes toward PAS, knowledge about that state's assisted suicide laws, demographics, and attitudes toward death as measured through the Death Attitude Profile-Revised (DAP-R) were collected and analyzed. The data indicate that attitudes toward PAS are a function of knowledge of end of life options as well as death attitudinal factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Euthanasia, Active, Voluntary / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Life
  • Suicide, Assisted / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care / methods
  • Treatment Refusal / psychology*
  • United States