Iranian Medical Students’ Attitude towards Euthanasia
*Corresponding author: Mahsa Mehrpour MD, Department of Persian Medicine, School of Persian and Complementary Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Euthanasia or good death is one of the challenging issues in medical ethics that has become particularly important given advances in medical sciences and facilities that extend patients’ longevity. Because physicians’ viewpoints towards ethical issues can be different in different cultures, this study was conducted to investigate medical students’ viewpoints regarding euthanasia in Birjand University of Medical Sciences in 2016.
In this Survey study, 152 medical students at different levels were enrolled by stratified-random sampling. Euthanasia Attitude Questionnaire consisting of four dimensions, Active Voluntary Euthanasia, Active Involuntary Euthanasia, Inactive Euthanasia, and Conducting Euthanasia was completed by participants. The three answers to attitude items were “Yes” (scored 2), “No” (scored 0), and “I don't know” (scored 1). The content validity index (CVI) and content validity Ratio (CVR) were 0.81 and 0.89, respectively. Data were analyzed by logistic regression at P < 0.05 in SPSS 18.
Results demonstrated that 30.9% of medical students agree with voluntary active euthanasia, 38.8% involuntary active euthanasia, and 44.7%, with inactive euthanasia. With increasing age, likelihood of agreeing with voluntary active euthanasia decreased significantly. Other variables were not significantly associated with agreement with different types of euthanasia.
Based on the results of this study, less than half of respondents agreed with euthanasia and the highest agreement was with inactive euthanasia. Regarding the role of religious beliefs in attitude towards euthanasia, it is recommended to study this variable in future studies.
Euthanasia, Medical student, Attitude, Iran.