In 1994, as the Michigan legislature considered whether to continue a law banning physician-assisted suicide, we conducted a series of surveys on this topic.
One of these surveys, conducted in Detroit, was designed to measure the attitudes of a largely black population toward physician-assisted suicide.
Questionnaires were mailed to 500 residents of Detroit.
The questionnaire described a plan for legalizing physician-assisted suicide, called Plan A, that incorporated eligibility standards and safeguards to minimize abuse.
Attitudes on three issues were investigated : 1) should physician-assisted suicide be banned or legalized ? 2) Should voluntary euthanasia also be permitted ? 3) Might respondents request legalized physician-assisted suicide for themselves ?
Majorities of both whites and blacks supported Plan A ; however, support was much lower among blacks than whites.
Blacks were also less likely to support voluntary euthanasia or to envision asking for physician-assisted suicide themselves.
Our analysis indicates that when age and sex are held constant, strength of religious commitment may account for much of the blackwhite difference in attitudes.
We also consider alternative explanations based on cultural attitudes and degree of trust in the medical system.
Mots-clés Pascal : Suicide, Etude comparative, Relation médecin malade, Enquête par correspondance, Caucasoïde, Négroïde, Euthanasie, Aspect culturel, Attitude morale, Evaluation, Homme, Système nerveux pathologie, Ethique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Suicide, Comparative study, Physician patient relation, Mail inquiry, Caucasoid, Negroid, Euthanasia, Cultural aspect, Moral attitude, Evaluation, Human, Nervous system diseases, Ethics
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0191834
Code Inist : 002B18C11. Création : 21/05/1997.