Moral Reasoning about Ending Life Revisited: Influences of Religiosity and Resilience
Religion, End of life issues
This study examined religiosity, resilience, and age across generation as predictors of moral reasoning and judgments about certain ending of life situations: suicide, physician-assisted suicide (PAS), active euthanasia (AE), and mercy killing (MK). Data was collected from undergraduate students attending a conservative Christian university in the Midwest as well as from an online community forum (N= 153). This study is a replication and expansion of a previous study.1 Measures included the questionnaire developed for Anstee's study, as well as the Christian Religious Internalization Scale, Response to Stressful Experiences Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. Linear regression analysis found identified (autonomous) religiosity as a predictor of moral reasoning and judgments, to the extent that ending of life scenarios are morally wrong. Resilience was found to be a predictor of moral judgments to the extent that MK is morally right. These findings suggest that the internalization of beliefs plays a considerable role in moral reasoning and judgments about ending of life issues. Understanding the role of mechanisms behind moral reasoning on ending of life issues is increasingly relevant as legislation is currently changing.
Atkins, Christiana D. and Burnett, Harvey J., "Moral Reasoning about Ending Life Revisited: Influences of Religiosity and Resilience" (2017). Faculty Publications. 643.