Culture and Attitudes Towards Euthanasia: An Integrative Review

Anjana A. Karumathil*, Ritu Tripathi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine and integrate last two decades of research on euthanasia from a cultural perspective. After an exhaustive search from Scopus and Web of Science, 40 studies matching our criteria are included in the review. We qualitatively summarize the literature country-wise and use text map of co-occurring terms in the titles, keywords, and abstracts of these articles to determine the similarities and differences among sub-themes in continental clusters. Research done in Asian, European, North American, and multi-cultural studies suggests that attributes unique to each culture are instrumental in shaping public attitudes towards euthanasia. We also find that some cultures, despite the prevalence of euthanasia, are underrepresented in empirical research. This review of literature on the cultural nuances in end-of-life decisions such as euthanasia is pertinent to social scientists, healthcare professionals and social workers in any given time, but more so during such critical events as worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-720
Number of pages33
JournalOmega: Journal of Death and Dying
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • culture
  • end-of-life
  • euthanasia
  • integrative review
  • pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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