Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2016 Jun;19(2):136-144. 10.14475/kjhpc.2016.19.2.136.

Recognition of Good Death, Attitude towards the Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment, and Attitude towards Euthanasia in Nurses

  • 1Department of Nursing, Catholic University of Pusan, Busan, Korea. hjkim@cup.ac.kr


To provide practical data for bioethics education, we identified correlations between recognition of good death, attitude towards withdrawal of meaningless life-sustaining treatment, and attitude towards euthanasia in nurses.
Using convenience sampling, we recruited 218 nurses who had at least six-month work experience in one of the six general hospitals with 500 or more beds in Seoul, Busan, and Gyeongsang province. All participants understood the purpose of the study and agreed to take part in the study. The research tools used included the Concept of Good Death Measure (CoGD), the measurement tool for attitudes towards withdrawal of meaningless life-sustaining treatment (WoMLST), and the measurement tool for attitudes towards euthanasia. Data were analyzed using an Independent t-test, one-way ANOVA, and Pearson's correlation coefficient using SPSS 21 for Windows.
Nurses had normal levels on CoGD, WoMLST, and attitudes towards euthanasia. Nurses' CoGD, WoMLST, and euthanasia scores significantly differed depending on their education level, working period, and the importance of religion to them. A negative correlation was found between the CoGD and WoMLST scores, and WoMLST and euthanasia scores were positively correlated.
Nurses should be trained to deal with ethical issues that may arise while caring for terminal patients. It is necessary for nurses to understand the concepts related to CoGD, WoMLST, and euthanasia, and to promote bioethics education with focus on decision-making and problem-solving ability in ethically conflicting situations.


Nurses; Death; Medical futility; Euthanasia
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