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ABSTRACT OF THE MASTER'S PAPER
NURSES' ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS TOWARD ASSISTED
SUICIDE IN PATIENTS WITH AIDS

by Luis E. Vega-Vega and Frank L. Cabañez
Florida International University, 1999
Miami, Florida
Professor Luz S. Porter, Major Professor

The purpose of this study is to examine how nurses engage or disengage with assisted suicide in persons with AIDS . This research is a replication of a study done 1995 in San Francisco, California among nurses taking care of these patients. In the original and this replication study, the same 64 questions anonymous survey was used. The response rate in the original study was approximately 50% while the replication study had a return rate of 77%. The replication study examined the attitudes and intentions of nurses in South Florida who care for patients with AIDS. The sample was predominantly female (76%), ranging in age from 26-70 with the mean age of 43 years.Most respondents (79%) disagreed with assisted suicide patients with AIDS.

Following the replication portion, the responses were groups according to gender, then age and finally by race. Patterns of responses were examined to determine if there were any differences noted. In general, males were more likely to be inclined towards assisted suicide than females.

The younger age groups( < 45 years) were more inclined towards acting without legalization to assist as were the Hispanics. Future studies using this instrument should refine the questions to be more reflective of nuances based on cultural attitude.

 
 
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