Faculty Research

Title

Determinants of Oregon Hospice Chaplains’ Views on Physician-Assisted Suicide

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2006

Abstract

Background: Although religiousness is a strong predictor of attitudes towards physician-assisted suicide (PAS), Oregon hospice chaplains express wide variation in their opposition to or support for legalized PAS. We explored factors associated with chaplains' views on PAS.

Methods: A mailed survey to chaplains from 51 Oregon hospices.

Results:Fifty of 77 eligible hospice chaplains (65%) returned surveys. Views on PAS were associated with views on suicide in general. Moral and theological beliefs were the most important influences on views on PAS. Chaplains who were opposed to PAS believed that God alone may take life, that life is an absolute good, and that suffering has a divine purpose. Those who supported PAS placed emphasis on the importance of self-determination and sanctity of life as defined by quality of life.

Conclusions: Oregon hospice chaplains' diverse views towards PAS are closely related to their views on suicide in general, and their personal and theological beliefs.

Comments

Publication Information.

Goy, E., Carlson, B., Simopoulos, N., Jackson, A., & Ganzini, L. (2006). Determinants of Oregon hospice chaplains’ views on physician-assisted suicide. Journal of Palliative Care, 22, 83-91.