Health professionals' attitude toward euthanasia: A cross-sectional study from Turkey

Turla A., Oezkara E., Oezkanli C., Alkan N.

OMEGA-JOURNAL OF DEATH AND DYING, vol.54, no.2, pp.135-145, 2006 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier


There is an ongoing debate on the definition of euthanasia and attempts to change laws about euthanasia and its practice in many countries. It is the medical doctors and the other health professionals who will elucidate the issue. Therefore, we performed this study to reveal attitude of Turkish health professionals toward euthanasia. This is an observational and cross-sectional study and data were collected with a questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to 545 health professionals in Samsun, a city in the Black Sea Region in Turkey. Data were analyzed with SPSS package programs. Of all health professionals included in the study, 43.5% were medical doctors and 45.5% auxiliary health professionals. Of all participants, 33.6% did not object to euthanasia and 7.9% were asked to perform euthanasia. Eighty point seven percent of the participants noted that euthanasia could be abused even if a euthanasia law were passed. It can be concluded that the health professionals should have a chance to discuss euthanasia and that their attitude toward and their expectations and worries about euthanasia should be taken into account when a euthanasia law is drafted.