Table 3 Life stance and hypothetical decision-making in different circumstances
Case 1Case 2Case 1Case 2Case 1Case 2Case 1Case 2Case 1Case 2Case 1Case 2
APS at patient’s request†
    Roman Catholic9598**9397788882899496
    Non-religious (specific philosophy)98999510095100849889969797
    Non-religious (no specific philosophy)9798871009398889589949798
    p Value0.1340.6700.3130.0550.9160.2180.1360.0580.0170.0630.1530.130
APS on own initiative
    Roman Catholic8379**6345687174698671
    Non-religious (specific philosophy)838387816745847874709279
    Non-religious (no specific philosophy)817678776747787479728765
    p Value0.6920.1880.2150.7330.3420.7720.0920.5870.0190.0940.0130.121
Terminal sedation at patient’s request†
    Roman Catholic8178**7462686966745949
    Non-religious (specific philosophy)878549547580626178787054
    Non-religious (no specific philosophy)848056527166565576767266
    p Value0.1210.1220.2970.1590.8230.0480.0100.0130.0370.6510.002<0.001
Terminal sedation on own initiative
    Roman Catholic6038**3810493354334622
    Non-religious (specific philosophy)634350314916361443255029
    Non-religious (no specific philosophy)573242263611402156355326
    p Value0.2950.0230.5660.0970.4850.4700.0450.0860.0720.5330.3240.444
PAD at patient’s request†
    Roman Catholic4639**45476818141211
    Non-religious (specific philosophy)8179383565647429433027
    Non-religious (no specific philosophy)6565252650619740332929
    p Value<0.001<0.0010.0120.0040.019<0.0010.1110.011<0.001<0.001<0.001<0.001
PAD on own initiative
    Roman Catholic229**1355310784
    Non-religious (specific philosophy)4126352215542742414
    Non-religious (no specific philosophy)331521141346218111910
    p Value<0.001<0.0010.0140.0020.9660.6220.8720.8190.0080.285<0.0010.019
  • Values are the percentages probably or certainly agreeing to make a given end-of-life decision; p values are from Pearson χ2 test .

  • Case 1: the patient is drowsy or subcomatose and communication is not possible. You estimate the patient’s life expectancy (without chemotherapy) to be no more than 2 weeks. Pain can be adequately controlled, but the patient is extremely tired, short of breath and bedridden.

  • Case 2: the patient is clear headed and can still communicate. You estimate the patient’s life expectancy (without chemotherapy) to be no more than 2 weeks. The patient had pain that is difficult to control despite the use of high doses of analgesics.

  • *Only life-stance groups with more than 2% of respondents in national sample were retained in the analyses

  • †For case 1 (communication not possible) “at patient request” was defined as a request stated in an advanced directive.

  • APS, alleviation of pain/symptoms using drugs with a possible life-shortening effect; PAD, physician-assisted death.