Table 5

Differences between medical and law students (%) concerning the four most often indicated reasons reported to have principally influenced the attitudes toward information about the diagnosis or prognosis of cancer if the patient asks to be told the truth

(1) Diagnosis(2) Prognosis
Type of reasonMedical students M1/M2‡Law students L1/L2‡Medical students M1/M2‡Law students L1/L2‡
***(χ2)p ≤0.001; **(χ2)p ≤0.01; and *(χ2)p ≤0.05 for comparison between all law and all medical students.
‡No indication means that no significant difference existed between the two groups of students from the same faculty (p≤0.05).
Group M1 : 64 medical students at the end of their 5th year in 1996.
Group M2 : 63 medical students at the beginning of their 5th year in 1996.
Group L1 : 75 first to fourth year law students from an “international law” lecture in 1996.
Group L2 : 93 mostly first year law students from a “law and medicine” lecture in 1996.
Patient autonomy72.4***39.9***62.2*** 71.9/52.4 p=0.0239.9***
Informing is best24.4***44.0***21.3**33.9**
Required by the law2.4*8.3*0.8**6.5**
Always tell the truth4.7***24.4***3.9***20.2***
Total numbern=127n=168n=127n=168