Investigating of Moral Distress and Attitude to Euthanasia in the Intensive Care Unit Nurses

Authors

1 Student Research Committee, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Department of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.

3 Nursing Care Research Center in Chronic Diseases, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

4 Bostan Nursing Faculty, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

5 Faculty of Paramedicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

6 Department of statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Considering the religious and legal structures in Iran, the occurrence of euthanasia seems to be impossible; however, the attitude of nurses towards euthanasia and its related factors may also affect creating moral distress conditions for nurses. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate of the moral distress and attitude of Adult and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (AICU/ NICU) nurses toward euthanasia.
Materials and Methods: In this descriptive-analytical study, all the nurses working in intensive care units of Educational Hospitals affiliated with Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences (Ahvaz city, Iran) were selected by census. Data were collected using Corley's Moral Distress Scale and Holloway’s Euthanasia Attitude Scale. Single-variable and multivariate linear regression tests were used to analyze the data and to determine the relationships between independent and dependent variables. Analyses were done using SPSS software (version 22).
Results: The attitude of all nurses towards euthanasia was negative (min score=20, max score=73, mean score= 43.78±7.99). The mean Moral distress frequency and Moral distress intensify were 47.01±12.90 and 48.42±11.62, respectively (indicates moderate ethical distress). In AICU nurses, there was a significant relationship between the frequency of moral distress and the nurses’ attitudes. However, there was no significant relationship between the intensity of moral distress and the nurses’ attitudes. In NICU nurses, there was no significant relationship between the frequency of moral distress and intensity of moral distress with nurses’ attitude toward euthanasia.
Conclusion: The religious and cultural conditions of the country have caused all nurses did not consider euthanasia to be acceptable under any circumstances. Further studies are needed to better understand the attitude of nurses towards euthanasia, especially with regard to the culture of Iranian society.

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