ERIC Number: ED374635
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jun-2
Attitudes and Opinions of Preservice Professionals: Withholding Life-Sustaining Treatment from Infants with Severe Disabilities.
Coon, Stephanie M.; Keyes, Denis W.
This study compares attitudes and opinions of premedical, nursing, regular education, and special education undergraduate students regarding whether life-sustaining treatment should be withheld from newborns with severe disabilities. The paper begins with a review of the literature, which reveals that the amount of experience an individual has with people having disabilities may influence the individual to recommend providing life-sustaining medical treatment, that it may be rare for pediatricians to have any professional experience with individuals having severe disabilities, that special educators were less likely than regular educators to recommend withholding maximum medical treatment, and that the legal decision to administer life-sustaining treatment is left to the individual states. A survey of 131 undergraduate students enrolled at the College of Charleston (South Carolina) or the Medical University of South Carolina is then reported. Results indicate that statistically significant differences among various academic majors occur when comparing views on withholding life-sustaining treatment. Attitudes were affected by choice of major, by experience with individuals having disabilities, and by subject age, but not by gender. Appendices contain a copy of the survey instrument and statistical data. (Contains 22 references.) (JDD)
Descriptors: Bioethics, College Students, Education Majors, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethics, Euthanasia, Health Personnel, Higher Education, Infants, Medical Services, Nurses, Opinions, Premedical Students, Severe Disabilities, Special Education, Student Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Undergraduate Study
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association on Mental Retardation (118th, Boston, MA, May 31-June 4, 1994).