A study to assess the knowledge and attitude on euthanasia among Health care professionals
Hemalatha M, Rajalakshmi N
Background of the study: The knowledge and attitudes towards euthanasia among health care professionals will contribute to the core understanding on all the aspects of euthanasia which will ultimately contribute to the comprehensiveness in caring the chronically ill patients.
Aim: The main objective of the study was to assess the knowledge and attitude on euthanasia among health care professional.
Methods: A descriptive design with survey approach was used to assess the knowledge and attitude on euthanasia among health care professionals. Study was conducted at Theerthanker Mahaveer Hospital & Research Centre. 100 health care professionals were selected as a sample by Non-probability purposive sampling technique. The tools used to collect the data were Socio-demographic Performa, Structured knowledge questionnaire to assess the knowledge on euthanasia and Five point Likert attitude scale to assess the attitudes towards euthanasia. The method adopted to collect the data was self administered knowledge questionnaire and 5 point attitude scale.
Results: The collected data was analyzed through descriptive and inferential Statistics which revealed that the majority of respondents 57 (57%) were having adequate knowledge, 22 (22%) were having inadequate knowledge and 21 (21 %) were having moderately adequate knowledge on Euthanasia. Similarly majority of respondents 59 (59 %) were having Favourable attitude, 33 (33 %) were having moderately favourable attitude and only 8 (8%) of the respondents were having favourable attitude on Euthanasia. The correlation coefficient value is +0.150, which is shows that there is moderately positive correlation which indicates; when knowledge level of Health care professionals increases the attitude also becomes favorable on Euthanasia. The association between knowledge and attitude with selected demographic variables of Health care professionals using chi-square test revealed that there is a statistical significance between Knowledge score & the response to the Question: Have you heard about Euthanasia? However there was no statistical significant association was found between the knowledge score and other demographic variables of Health care professionals at 0.05 level of significance. Similarly there is a significant association found between the attitude score and Educational qualification of Health care professionals at 0.05 level of significance and no statistical association was found with other demographic variables.
Conclusion: The health care professionals having adequate knowledge and favourable attitude towards euthanasia but the unique influence of law and ethics have hindered them to practice euthanasia. There is broad scope of acceptance of euthanasia by the health care professionals but there is a need for research in larger scale.