Dying with dignity according to Swedish medical students
2006 (English)In: Supportive Care in Cancer, ISSN 0941-4355, E-ISSN 1433-7339, Vol. 14, no 4, 334-339 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Goal of work: To die with dignity is an important but ambiguous concept, and it is used in contradictory contexts, both for the promotion of palliative care and as an argument for euthanasia. Our goal was to explore medical students' definition of a dignified death. Patients and methods: A questionnaire containing open-ended questions was answered anonymously by 165 first-and fifth-year medical students. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis with no predetermined categories. Main results: The students' descriptions of a dignified death resulted in five categories of death: (1) without suffering, (2) with limited medical interventions, (3) with a sense of security, which implied a safe environment nursed by professional staff, (4) with autonomy, respect for the individual and empowerment to the patient and (5) with acceptance. These findings show similarity to the established concepts of a good death, as well as the view of a dignified death by terminally ill patients. Conclusions: The data suggest that the students perceive that the medical system is over-treating patients and sometimes causing harm to dying patients. The results reveal a potential misunderstanding and contradiction relating to death without suffering and the use of necessary palliative interventions. These findings are important when planning education as regards palliative care and dignified death. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 14, no 4, 334-339 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-37363DOI: 10.1007/s00520-005-0893-5Local ID: 35005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-37363DiVA: diva2:258212