Psychological factors may influence an individual's acceptance of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate predictors of attitudes towards PAS. Data were collected from 136 college students at a private Midwestern university. In addition to demographic and family history information, respondents completed measures of attitudes toward seeking mental health services, depression, hopelessness, and PAS attitudes. Respondent age, race, and hopelessness scores emerged as the only significant predictors (R2=.20) in a multiple regression model used to identify potential predictors of PAS attitudes. Younger, non-minority respondents, and those enduring more hopelessness reported more accepting attitudes towards PAS. Data from a three month follow-up assessment supported the stability of this pattern. The findings highlight the important role that mental health professionals should play in PAS decision making. Implications for the evaluation of medically ill considering PAS and their caregivers are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Life-span and Life-course Studies