Year: 2016 Source: Archives of Suicide Research.(2016).20(2):250-264.DOI:10.1080/13811118.2015.1004477 SIEC No: 20160257

Little is known about how family-related contextual variables impact attitudes toward assisted suicide. A probability sample (N = 272) responded to a multiple-segment factorial vignette designed to examine the effects of 6 variablesÑpatient sex, age, type of illness, relationship status, parenthood status, and family supportÑon attitudes toward physician- and family-assisted suicide. Respondents were more likely to support physician-assisted suicide if they heard about an older patient or a patient experiencing physical pain than a younger patient or one suffering from depression, respectively. For family-assisted suicide, respondent support was higher when the patient had physical pain than depression, and when the patient’s spouse or friend was supportive of the wish to die than unsupportive. Attitudes about physician and family obligation to inform others were affected by type of illness, relationship status, family support, and respondent education and religiosity. The experience of pain, motivations for family involvement, confidentiality issues, and physiciansÕ biases concerning assisted suicide are discussed.

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