Influencing Factors on End of Life Care Decisions


I researched the factors that influence people in the choices they make regarding end of life care. I investigated the following options of end of life care that include: hospice, palliative care, euthanasia, and aggressive treatment of illness. Through a survey, an empirical examination of the attitudes of students and faculties toward end of life care decisions was determined based on four hypothetical patient scenarios in attempt to see if the factors that are commonly found in previous literature hold true for Eastern Kentucky University. I hypothesized that gender would affect the scale of which individuals rank the hypothetical patients as “alive or dead.” This was found not to be a significant factor. I hypothesized that older individuals would rank patients on the more alive end of the scale than their younger counterparts in the study, but this was found to not be significant. I proposed religion would play a factor in the decision as those who are religious would rank patients as more alive than those who are not. There was no significance between the means of religious individuals verses non-religious individuals. There was found to be a significant difference between the means of white individuals versus other races in the terminal illness scenario. Another goal of this study was to discuss stigmas that influence end of life care. This thesis discusses some of the common misunderstandings associated with end of life care decisions to better educate individuals of their options in preparation of these decisions.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-10-2016


Melinda M. Moore

Mentor Professional Affiliation


Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Biological Sciences

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)


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