Article

Palliativmedizinische Lehre

Malteser-Krankenhaus Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Abteilung für Anästhesiologie, Intensivmedizin, Palliativmedizin und Schmerztherapie Bonn Deutschland
Der Schmerz (Impact Factor: 1.02). 08/2008; 22(4):458-464. DOI: 10.1007/s00482-008-0649-5

ABSTRACT

Background
The aim of this study was to examine the attitude of medical students with or without tuition in palliative medicine towards active euthanasia and whether this changes during the course of the study period.
Methods
A questionnaire was developed with 13 items (focus groups, preliminary tests) which takes knowledge and attitude into consideration. Students in the 2nd (2CS) and 6th (6CS) clinical semesters at 2 universities with (U1) and without (U2) palliative medicine as a compulsory subject were included.
Results
The initial approval rate for active euthanasia was high for students in 2CS at both universities (U1 and U2), remained stable for U2 and sank clearly for U1. At U1 the number of students who would consider active euthanasia for themselves was greatly reduced but only slightly for U2. Of all the students, 40.9% of U2 and 22.5% of U1 were of the opinion that they could practice active euthanasia on patients. The majority admitted to being frightened to have responsibility for incurable patients. Of the students in 6CS, only 12.2% from U1 and 7.1% from U2 considered themselves sufficiently prepared to be responsible for terminally ill patients.
Conclusions
The results of this questionnaire demonstrated a clear influence of tuition in palliative medicine on the rejection attitude of students towards active euthanasia, however, the attitude proactive euthanasia was still high. The results indicate that tuition in palliative medicine must be modified and substantially intensified.

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