Table 11

Reported religious belief compared with position on withholding/withdrawing treatment, double effect and assisted suicide, UK nurses (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree) Mean scores on scale of 1 to 5 (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree) with standard deviation in parentheses Two-sample t-test with equal variances for combined Protestant/Catholic groups compared with “no religion” group

StatementProtestant or Catholic (n=373)No religion (n=62)Significance
NB There were no respondents who described themselves as Jewish or Muslim; numbers of Hindu and Buddhist respondents were too small for analysis.
1. There is no ethical difference between withholding (not starting) a life support measure and stopping it once it has been started.2.30 (1.16)2.81 (1.32)P<.002
2. Sometimes it is appropriate to give pain medication to relieve suffering, even if it may hasten a patient's death.4.67 (.76)4.76 (.59)P<.386
3. Although it may be illegal, it is not always unethical to hasten a patient's death upon his or her request.3.00 (1.29)3.77 (1.32)P<.0001