Nwankwo TO1*, Obioha KCE1, Aniebue UU1, Obioha JO2, Onyeka T3 and Okereke-Davids C1
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nigerian Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria
2Enugu Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria
3Department of Anaesthesia, University of Nigerian Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria
Background: Physician assisted death (Euthanasia) has gained a wide range of debate, dating from the medieval to contemporary times. Conflicting interests existed amongst different religious bodies, health care system, and the legal system, in providing assistance to hasten the death of patients who wish to die.
Objectives: This study assessed the Physicians disposition to active/passive euthanasia in Nigeria where there is no enabling law.
Materials and Methods: A Cross-sectional survey of doctors practicing in Enugu state Nigeria was done using a pretested self-administered structured questionnaire with sections on sociodemographic characteristics, clinical experience and attitudes towards euthanasia. The Chi square test was used to assess the factors influencing the attitudes toward euthanasia.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 33.6 ± 7 years. Majority (53%) of the respondents were Roman Catholics. One hundred and ninety three respondents (72.6%) rejected euthanasia in all circumstances. Forty one respondents (15.4%) declared that the conduct of euthanasia may be acceptable depending on the condition, while 32 (12%) declared euthanasia to be completely acceptable.
Conclusion: There was poor attitude to and acceptance of euthanasia by Physicians in Enugu, Nigeria. These poor attitude and acceptance to passive or active euthanasia in Nigeria was found to be significantly influenced by moral and religious beliefs, which are deep-rooted in our environment. Legislatures should make enabling laws to permit either passive/active euthanasia in very carefully selected cases in Nigerian to stifle litigation and possible culpability against physician positively disposed to euthanasia in appropriate circumstances.
Euthanasia; Doctors; Attitude; Nigeria
Nwankwo TO, Obioha KCE, Aniebue UU, Obioha JO, Onyeka T, Okereke- Davids C. Physicians Disposition to Active/Passive Euthanasia in Nigeria: A Survey of Doctors in Enugu, Nigeria. J Clin Obstet Gynecol Infertil. 2017; 1(2): 1010.