Table 6

 Students’ reasoning behind their decision for or against assisting the patient’s suicide and the frequency of their occurrence at each survey point

Reasoning behind the decision to assist suicideBefore year 1After year 1After year 3After year 5Total
Reasoning used in answers considered to be professional consensus based
Patient’s wishes22861652
Patient’s and families’ wishes7105830
Families’ wishes01214
Patient’s autonomy255618
Patient is competent11081635
Patient is able to provide informed consent032712
Quality of life1484632
No hope of recovery/can’t live without assistance/let nature take its course11561032
Important to have the decision legally sanctioned121610
Withdrawal of treatment is not euthanasia00022
Let her die with dignity10001
Reasoning used in answers considered not to be professionally consensus based
To prevent her suffering12104
She’s better off dead20002
She can’t recover10012
If it were me10102
In this situation euthanasia is justified00101
Illegal, but court will legalise it00011
Let the court decide00011
Pass it onto another doctor to decide00011
For the greater good10001
Reasoning behind the decision not to assist patient’s request to withdraw treatment
Doctor’s duty to preserve life/respect for life42017
Religious belief20226
Personal belief00033
Illegal to assist patient10023
Can relieve suffering without ending life00011
She may change her mind10001
In case family turn against you00011
Need more time to make decision10001