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Original scientific paper

Influence of the »Rijeka Model« of Bioethics Education on Attitudes of Medical Students towards Death and Dying – A Cross Sectional Study

Iva Sorta-Bilajac
Domagoj Brkanac
Boris Brozović
Ksenija Baždarić
Morana Brkljačić
Gordana Pelčić
Vesna Golubović
Ivan Šegota

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page 1151-1157

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The aim of this study was to assess attitude towards euthanasia, and the influence of socio-demographic data and
death education carried out through the »Rijeka model« of bioethics education for the first-year medical students of the
School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Croatia. The cross-sectional study was conducted in the academic year 2003/
2004. 124 (61% female) participants were surveyed by using an anonymous questionnaire before and after training.
Catholics (p= 0.003) and students from areas with populations of less than 50,000 inhabitants (p=0.001) had significantly
negative attitude towards euthanasia than others before the course, yet no differences were found following this
training. Attitude towards euthanasia was significantly positive after the course (p=0.005). All items in the questionnaire,
except »Croatia should legalise euthanasia«, received more positive scores after the course. Death education carried
through the »Rijeka model« of bioethics education has changed attitudes of medical students towards a more positive
perception of euthanasia.


attitude to death; euthanasia; education; medical; Croatia

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