Nurses attitudes towards death, dying patients and euthanasia: A descriptive study

Ay M. A., ÖZ F.

Nursing Ethics, vol.26, no.5, pp.1442-1457, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0969733017748481
  • Journal Name: Nursing Ethics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1442-1457
  • Keywords: Decision-making, end of life, patient rights, terminally ill, Turkey, OF-LIFE CARE, EDUCATION-PROGRAM, DECISION-MAKING, END, PHYSICIANS, EXPERIENCES, INVOLVEMENT, OPINIONS, RELIGION, ANXIETY
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: Yes


© The Author(s) 2018.Background: Attitudes of nurses towards death and related concepts influence end-of-life care. Determining nurses’ views and attitudes towards these concepts and the factors that affect them are necessary to ensure quality end-of-life care. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine nurses’ views and attitudes about death, dying patient, euthanasia and the relationships between nurses’ characteristics. Methods: Participants consist of the nurses who volunteered to take part in this descriptive study from 25 hospitals (n = 340) which has a paediatric or adult intensive care unit and located within the boundaries of Ankara, Turkey. ‘Nurse Information Form’ and ‘Attitude Scale about Euthanasia, Death and Dying Patients (DAS)’ were used as data collection tool. Ethical consideration: Written permissions were received from the ‘Noninterventional Clinical Researches Ethics Board’ of authors’ university and education councils of each hospital. Informed consent was obtained from participants. Findings: It is found that there are statistically significant difference among the factors of marital status, having a child, years of experience, bereavement experience, affected by working with dying patient, definition of euthanasia, views about patients who are appropriate for euthanasia, views about patients who desire to die and feeling need for counselling on these concepts according to the mean total score of nurses’ attitudes about euthanasia, death and dying patient (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The results indicate that nurses are negatively affected to face the concepts of death, euthanasia and work with dying patient. This is reflected in their attitude. In order to gain positive attitude towards death, dying patient and euthanasia, the implementation of training and consulting services to nurses at appropriate intervals during both education and professional life are required.