Is Mercy Killing Right or Wrong? – Opinions of Clinical Students in Three Nigerian Tertiary Schools
Issue: 2017 - Volume 11 [Issue 6]
Adewale Ismahil Badru
Emergency Department, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi *
Cephas Health Research Initiative, Ibadan, Nigeria
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Objectives: To explore the opinions of medical, dental, physiotherapy, and nursing students in three tertiary schools in Ibadan, Nigeria, towards the ethics and practice of euthanasia. Methodology: This research was a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study. Questionnaires were issued to 450 students who volunteered to participate in this study, and only 433 participants returned their questionnaires filled. Out of the 433 questionnaires returned, 7 were discarded due to incomplete data. Only the data of 426 respondents were computed and analysed in this study. Results: The majority (88.7%) of our respondents were single, 60% were females, and those studying for the General Nursing diploma certificate were younger (mean age=19.6 years) than those studying other courses. The majority (31.2%) were also studying Medicine. Only 83.1% of them have heard of the term “euthanasia”, 81.2% had encountered patients diagnosed with terminal illness during the course of their current education. The mean Likert scores of the medical and dental students indicated that the majority of them were of the opinion that it is morally right to render euthanasia to the brain-dead, if his/her children/parents requested for such. Furthermore, many of our respondents’ religion (49.1%) and culture (46.2%) did not support the practice of euthanasia. Less than one-fourth (22.1%) of our respondents were of the opinion that euthanasia should be practised in Nigeria, 46.7% were of contrary opinion, while 31.2% were yet to decide. Conclusion: Euthanasia remains an issue of debate among students of clinical sciences.
Keywords: Euthanasia, opinion, ethics, students, religion, culture, Nigeria