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Revista Bioética

versão impressa ISSN 1983-8042versão On-line ISSN 1983-8034


SILVA, José Antonio Cordero da; SOUZA, Luis Eduardo Almeida de; COSTA, Jorge Logan Furtado  e  MIRANDA, Henrique da Costa. Knowledge of medical students regarding living wills. Rev. Bioét. [online]. 2015, vol.23, n.3, pp.563-571. ISSN 1983-8042.

The end of a person’s life raises many ethical dilemmas. Recently, the Brazil’s Federal Council of Medicine approved and regulated the concept of “living will”; as a result, it is of considerable importance that doctors understand the issues that surround this matter. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the knowledge of medical students from the Pará State University, Brazil, of “living wills” and decisions involving the end of life. A cross-sectional study was performed with 238 students who answered a questionnaire of 10 questions. Only 8% of students demonstrated a clear understanding of the term “living will”. Nevertheless, when the definition of “living will” was explained to the participants of the study by the researchers, 92% of students declared that they would respect its provisions. Therefore it appears that while most respondents had a low level of understanding of the concept of “living will”, the vast majority positioned themselves in favor of accepting such a document.

Palavras-chave : Knowledge; Living wills; Patient rights-Right to die; Advance directives; Advance directive adherence; Students, Medical; Education.

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