On SAGE Insight: Nurses attitudes towards death, dying patients and euthanasia

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

From Nursing Ethics

One of the greatest threats towards existence is the fact that a human being is bound to die. This phenomenon is especially essential for healthcare professionals, who have to face death almost on a daily basis. In particular, the terminal phase of the patient, when death anxiety is experienced more intensely, 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. The purpose of this study was to determine nurses’ views and attitudes about death, dying patient, euthanasia and the relationships between nurses’ characteristics. Determining the opinions and attitudes of nurses towards dying patients and euthanasia and knowing which factors affect these opinions and attitudes will help us evaluate this area more deeply and provide more effective healthcare.

Abstract

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.

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Article details
Nurses attitudes towards death, dying patients and euthanasia: A descriptive study
Melike Ayça Ay, Fatma Öz
First Published March 1, 2018
DOI: 10.1177/0969733017748481
From Nursing Ethics

 

 

     
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