Scientific article
Open access

Attitudes of university hospital staff towards in-house assisted suicide

Published inPloS one, vol. 17, no. 10, e0274597
Publication date2022-10-27
First online date2022-10-27

Objective: To investigate staff attitudes toward assisted suicide in the hospital setting in Switzerland.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Two University Hospitals in French speaking regions of Switzerland.

Participants: 13'834 health care professionals, including all personnel caring for patients, were invited to participate.

Main outcome measures and other variables: Attitudes towards the participation of hospital health care professionals in assisted suicide were investigated with an online questionnaire.

Results: Among all invited professionals, 5'127 responded by filling in the survey at least partially (response rate 37.0%), and 3'683 completed the entire survey (26.6%). 73.0% of participants approved that this practice should be authorized in their hospital and saw more positive than negative effects. 57.6% would consider assisted suicide for themselves. Non-medical professionals were 1.28 to 5.25 times more likely to approve assisted suicide than physicians (p<0.001). 70.7% of respondents indicated that each professional should have the choice of whether to assist in suicide.

Conclusions: This multiprofessional survey sheds light on hospital staff perceptions of assisted suicide happening within hospital walls, which may inform the development of rules considering their wishes but also their reluctances. Further research using a mixed-methods approach could help reach an in-depth understanding of staff's attitudes and considerations towards assisted suicide practices.

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Suicide, Assisted
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
Citation (ISO format)
GAMONDI, Claudia et al. Attitudes of university hospital staff towards in-house assisted suicide. In: PloS one, 2022, vol. 17, n° 10, p. e0274597. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0274597
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1932-6203

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