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    STUDIA BIOETHICA - Issue no. Special Issue / 2021  
         
  Article:   ATTITUDES TOWARDS ASSISTED SUICIDE AMONG HOSPITAL WORKERS: RESULTS OF A LARGE MULTIPROFESSIONAL SURVEY IN FRENCH-SPEAKING SWITZERLAND.

Authors:  RALF J. JOX.
 
       
         
  Abstract:  
DOI: 10.24193/subbbioethica.2021.spiss.65

Published Online: 2021-06-30
Published Print: 2021-06-30
pp. 102-103


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ABSTRACT: Parallel Session I, Room 2 Background: Worldwide, assisted dying is currently on the rise. For health care professionals (HCP), this raises questions regarding roles and responsibilities. Switzerland is a social laboratory for a non-medicalized form of suicide assistance (SA). Aims: To describe experiences and attitudes of Swiss HCP toward SA in the hospital setting and to identify associated factors. Methods: An online questionnaire survey targeted all HCP involved in patient care at two tertiary hospitals in French-speaking Switzerland. The primary outcome was a favorable attitude toward SA. Associated factors were assessed using logistic regression. Results: A total of 5127 professionals responded (37.1%). The sample was representative of the hospitals, with 74% being female, 52% nurses, 23% physicians and 25% other professions. 69% supported the view that each HCP should have the choice to participate or not in SA. The majority favored access to SA in case of severe somatic illnesses, irrespective of prognosis, but less for patients with mental disorders or healthy seniors. 60% of all HCP were generally ready to be involved in SA, but only 30% of physicians would prescribe a lethal substance. 58% of HCP would consider assisted suicide for themselves in certain circumstances. Independent factors associated with a favorable attitude toward SA were: younger age, graduation in Switzerland, non-physician profession. Working in palliative care or being protestant was associated with a less favorable attitude. Conclusion: The diverse attitudes of HCP suggest that the Swiss model of SA may have to be reconsidered, including the question about the participation of hospital workers.
 
         
     
         
         
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