Faculty Mentor(s)

1. Dr. Charles Perabeau

2. Dr. Cynthia Taylor

Project Type

EdD Colloquium - ONU

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Community Application

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Physician-assisted suicide, legalized in many states is becoming an option for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness. Nurse participation in physician-assisted suicide is not supported through state nurse practice acts or national nursing organizations, causing potential contradictions in practice rights for advanced practice nurses. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of registered and advanced practice nurses who work with the terminally ill regarding the patient option of physician-assisted suicide. This quantitative research was conducted with hospice registered nurses employed by a hospice organization in the Midwest and included participants from states where physician-assisted suicide is legal, states with proposed legislation, and states not considering legislation. The sample (n = 79) consisted of registered (n = 77) and advanced practice (n = 2) nurses. After receiving permission to use questions from previous research by Chong and Fok (2013), and Francke et al. (2016), an Assisted Suicide Attitude Survey questionnaire was created and distributed online to the participants. Data analysis included analysis of covariates, descriptive statistics, and correlation analysis. For example, statistically significant differences were found between general assisted suicide attitudes, and the age, educational level, and assisted suicide state law of the participants. Other statistically significant data indicated the nurse participants viewed physician-assisted suicide as an acceptable option for terminally ill patients. Nurses will need to remain educated on changes to future nurse practice laws and nursing organizations policies regarding physician-assisted suicide that impact their practice rights.

Permission type

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Exploring Nurses' Attitudes Toward Assisted Suicide: A Study Of Nurses Working With Terminally Ill Patients

Other

Physician-assisted suicide, legalized in many states is becoming an option for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness. Nurse participation in physician-assisted suicide is not supported through state nurse practice acts or national nursing organizations, causing potential contradictions in practice rights for advanced practice nurses. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of registered and advanced practice nurses who work with the terminally ill regarding the patient option of physician-assisted suicide. This quantitative research was conducted with hospice registered nurses employed by a hospice organization in the Midwest and included participants from states where physician-assisted suicide is legal, states with proposed legislation, and states not considering legislation. The sample (n = 79) consisted of registered (n = 77) and advanced practice (n = 2) nurses. After receiving permission to use questions from previous research by Chong and Fok (2013), and Francke et al. (2016), an Assisted Suicide Attitude Survey questionnaire was created and distributed online to the participants. Data analysis included analysis of covariates, descriptive statistics, and correlation analysis. For example, statistically significant differences were found between general assisted suicide attitudes, and the age, educational level, and assisted suicide state law of the participants. Other statistically significant data indicated the nurse participants viewed physician-assisted suicide as an acceptable option for terminally ill patients. Nurses will need to remain educated on changes to future nurse practice laws and nursing organizations policies regarding physician-assisted suicide that impact their practice rights.