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Religions 2018, 9(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030066

Religiosity and the Wish of Older Adults for Physician-Assisted Suicide

1
Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G9A5H7, Canada
2
School of Social Work Fribourg, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, 1762 Givisiez, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
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Abstract

In industrialized countries, population ageing is associated with intense discussions on the issue of dying with dignity. Some countries have legalized assisted suicide and authorized physicians to provide the knowledge and/or means for suffering patients to end their life. The goal of this study was to ascertain if religiosity could be a predicting factor of older adults’ wish for physician-assisted suicide (PAS). A sample of 216 men and women over 60 years (M = 72.5) answered the following question: “Would you disagree or agree with assisted suicide for yourself if you were very sick and would die in the near future?” They also completed questionnaires on religiosity, ageism and death anxiety. A regression analysis showed that religiosity explained a significant (F(1211) = 19.62; p < 0.001) proportion (7.7%) of the variance in the wish for PAS (full model R2 = 0.17). Religiosity seems to reduce the likelihood that older adults would ask for PAS if they had a terminal illness, while ageism and death anxiety seemed to have the opposite effect. Health professionals and legislators must be aware that psychosocial and spiritual variables have an important influence on the wish for PAS. View Full-Text
Keywords: assisted suicide; religiosity; older adults; death anxiety; ageism; dying with dignity; end-of-life care assisted suicide; religiosity; older adults; death anxiety; ageism; dying with dignity; end-of-life care
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lapierre, S.; Castelli Dransart, D.A.; St-Amant, K.; Dubuc, G.; Houle, M.; Lacerte, M.-M.; Maggiori, C. Religiosity and the Wish of Older Adults for Physician-Assisted Suicide. Religions 2018, 9, 66.

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