The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of changing key factors in survey questions on public opinion regarding end-of-life decisions.
These factors were :
(a) patient prognosis ;
(b) end-of-life practice ;
and (c) and decision making process.
A representative quota sample of 2019 Canadians 18 years of age or older were surveyed using a 13-item questionnaire with 12 items eliciting attitudes towards end-of-life decisions.
The questions were systematically varied according to three key factors : patient prognosis, end-of-life practice and decision making process.
One item assessed whether respondents had completed a living will.
In the case of a decision to forgo life-sustaining treatment in a competent patient, public approval was 85% if the person was unlikely to recover and 35% if the person was likely to recover.
In the case of a competent patient unlikely to recover, public approval was 85% for forgoing life-sustaining treatment, 58% for assisted suicide, and 66% for euthanasia.
In the case of forgoing life-sustaining treatment for a patient unlikely to recover, public approval was 85% for a competent patient, 88% for an incompetent patient who had expressed his/her wishes in advance through a living will, and 76% for an incompetent patient based on a family's request.
The influence of these key factors was similar in other cases examined.
Ten percent of Canadians said they had completed a living will.
Mots-clés Pascal : Opinion publique, Enquête, Prise décision, Malade, Stade terminal, Pronostic, Pratique professionnelle, Euthanasie, Réanimation cardiocirculatoire, Canada, Attitude, Suicide assisté, Amérique du Nord, Amérique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Public opinion, Inquiry, Decision making, Patient, Terminal stage, Prognosis, Professional practice, Euthanasia, Intensive cardiocirculatory care, Canada, Attitude, Assisted suicide, North America, America
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0002507
Code Inist : 002B30A09. Création : 01/03/1996.