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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/151505
- Euthanasia on trial: examining public attitudes toward nonphysician-assisted death
- Pfeifer, Jeffrey E.; Brigham, John C.; Robinson, Tom
- This study investigated the influence of various contextual effects on the decisions of subjects evaluating a case of nonphysician-assisted suicide. Subjects viewed a videotaped deposition of an individual emotionally or nonemotionally describing how he assisted in the death of his terminally ill wife by disconnecting her respirator or shooting her in the head. The deposition was followed by jury instructions that outlined the duties of the subject and, in some cases, was followed by a nullification instruction that informed the subjects of their right to ignore the law in this case if they felt it would culminate in an unfair verdict. After viewing the videotape, subjects were asked to rate the guilt of the individual as well as their confidence in this rating. Results indicate that the means of death and the type of instruction significantly affect guilt ratings. The implications of these findings are discussed.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 52, no. 2 (Summer 1996), pp. 119-129
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1608 Sociology
- Assisted suicide; Cause of death; Death; Decision making; Emotion; Ethics; Euthanasia; Family; Guilt determination; Health professionals; Homicide; Judicial role; Juries; Jurisprudence; Legal liability; Public perceptions; Right to die; Terminal care; Verdict
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 1996 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. The copyright policy of the publisher allows the accepted manuscript to be reproduced here after a publisher-enforced embargo period.
- Peer reviewed