The attitudes of older South Africans towards euthanasia

de Vos H.M. ; le Roux M.C. ; Nortje N. (2004)


The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of older South African adults (65 years and older) towards euthanasia. The subjects of the study were people 65 years of age and older who resided in homes for the aged within the rural and urban areas of the Cape Town Metropolis. An equal number of subjects from the African, Coloured and European communities were randomly selected. A biographical questionnaire, the Euthanasia Attitude Scale and the Purpose In Life Test were administered. The influence of four variables - namely age, ethnicity, meaning in life and health - was investigated. A Pearson correlation coefficient analysis and a one-way ANOVA analysis were used. Age was the only variable found to have a significant correlation with euthanasia. The findings are discussed and certain recommendations are made.

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