Introduction and objective:
Euthanasia assumes the deliberate deprivation of life of another human being for the good of that person. At present, euthanasia is legally practiced in Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Columbia and Canada. In Poland, euthanasia is strictly prohibited. The aim of this work is to present the opinions of medical students about euthanasia. An anonymous questionnaire was conducted among first-year students of medicine at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland.

Material and methods:
The anonymous questionnaire consisted of 35 questions that concerned three components of euthanasia attitude: knowledge, evaluation, and acceptance of its use. The study included 281 students of medicine (77.6% of all first-year students).

Although euthanasia in Poland is legally prohibited, almost one-fifth of students of medicine expressed a positive attitude towards euthanasia, and over a quarter of students opted for its legalization. Only two independent variables, i.e., family size (number of children) and religious involvement of the respondents, differentiated both the overall assessment of euthanasia and the level of acceptance for its legalization. Non-religious people more often (43.3%) than religiously engaged people (6.4%) expressed positive opinions about euthanasia.

The attitudes of students towards euthanasia are often inconsistent. There is a need to evaluate medical study programmes in the context of creating the right attitudes of future doctors towards euthanasia.

Bogin B. Evolution of the Human Life Cycle. In: Patterns of Human Growth, Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology; 2020. pp. 187–272). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108379977.005.
Burmann LL, Alves VP. The different processes in the cycle of human life. Int J Dev Res. 2020;10(9):40596–40601.
Oates JR, Maani CV. Death and Dying. [Updated 2022 Aug 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022; Jan-. Available from:
Lai XB, Wong FKY, Ching SSY. The experience of caring for patients at the end-of-life stage in non-palliative care settings: a qualitative study. BMC Palliat Care. 2018; Oct 17;17(1):116. doi: 10.1186/s12904-018-0372-7.
William L. Non-palliative care staff need to deliver generalist end of life care. BMJ. 2014;348:3426. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3426.
Saunders C. The Last Stages of Life. Am J Nurs. 2022;65(3):70–75.
Picón-Jaimes YA, Lozada-Martinez ID, Orozco-Chinome JE, et al. Euthanasia and assisted suicide: An in-depth review of relevant historical aspects. Ann Med Surg. 2022;75:10338,
Theofanidis D, Mecek F. Euthanasia: a Healthcare Debate from a Greek-Turkish Perspective. Int J Caring Sci. 2016;9(1):321–329.
Pacian J, Pacian A, Skórzyńska H, et al. Eutanazja – zabójstwo człowieka czy uśmierzenie bólu. Regulacje prawne wybranych państw świata. Hygeia Public Health. 2014;1(49):19–25.
Malczewski J. Eutanazja: z dziejów pojęcia. Diametros. 2004;1:35–52.
Wawrzyniak J. Etyka eutanazji. Studium filozoficzno-aksjolingwistyczne. Poznań: UAM; 2016. Poland.
Truszczyński M. Eutanazja: między zabójstwem z litości a aktem samobójstwa. Zeszyty Naukowe Ostrołęckiego Towarzystwa Naukowego. 2013;27:504–517.
Szeroczyńska M. Eutanazja i wspomagane samobójstwo na świecie. Studium prawnoporównawcze, Kraków; 2004. Poland.
Pereira J. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls. Curr Oncol. 2011 Apr;18(2):e38–45. doi: 10.3747/co.v18i2.883.
Jafari H, Meskini L, Heydari Gorji M, et al. Health Care Providers’ Attitude towards Performing Euthanasia on the Elderly. Clin Excell. 2016;5(2):45–56.
Singh S, Sharma D, Aggarwal V, et al. Attitude of doctors toward euthanasia in Delhi, India. Asian J Oncol. 2015;1(1):49–54.
Nie L, Han KS, Iosua E, et al. New Zealand medical students’ views of euthanasia/assisted dying across different year levels. BMC Med Educ. 2021;21:125.
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Bregje D, et al. Attitudes and Practices of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in the United States, Canada, and Europe. JAMA. 2016;316(1):79–90. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8499.
Roelands M, Van den Block L, Geurts S, et al. Attitudes of Belgian students of medicine, philosophy, and law toward euthanasia and the conditions for its acceptance. Death Stud. 2015;39(1–5):139–50. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2014.920433.
Ustawa z 06.06.1997 r. Kodeks Karny. DzU z 1997, nr 88, poz. 553 z późn. zm.
Maksymowicz A. Eutanazja – znak naszych czasów. Studia Humanistyczne. 2005, p. 145–153. Poland.
Rathor MY, Abdul Rani MF, Shahar MA, et al. Attitudes toward Euthanasia and Related Issues among Physicians and Patients in a Multi-cultural Society of Malaysia. J Family Med Prim Care. 2014; 3(3):230–7. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.141616.
Stronegger WJ, Schmölzer C, Rásky, et al. Changing attitudes towards euthanasia among medical students in Austria. J Med Ethics. 2011; 37(4):227–9. doi: 10.1136/jme.2010.039792.
Bator EX, Philpott B, Costa AP. This moral coil: a cross-sectional survey of Canadian medical student attitudes toward medical assistance indying. BMC Med Ethics. 2017;Oct 27;18(1):58. doi: 10.1186/s12910-017-0218-5.
CBOS. Opinia społeczna o eutanazji. (2013) CBOS. Warszawa.
Borovecki A, Curkovic M, Nikodem K, et al. Attitudes about withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging treatment, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and physician assisted suicide: a cross-sectional survey among the general public in Croatia. BMC Med Ethics. 2022;17;23(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s12910-022-00751-6.
Luke E. Nurses’ attitudes to assisted suicide: Sociodemographic factors. Br J Nurs. 2015; 24(12):629–32, doi: 10.12968/bjon.2015.24.12.629.
Chandhoke G, Pond G, Levine O, Oczkowski S. Oncologists and medical assistance in dying: where do we stand? Results of a national survey of Canadian oncologists. Curr Oncol. 2020 Oct;27(5):263–269. doi: 10.3747/co.27.6295.
Emanuel EJ, Onwuteaka-Philipsen BD, Urwin JW, et al. Attitudes and practices of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the United States, Canada, and Europe. JAMA. 2016;316(1):79–90. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.8499.
Young J, Egan R, Walker S, et al. The euthanasia debate: synthesising the evidence on new Zealander’s attitudes. Kotuitui: New Zealand J Soc Sci Online. 2018;14(1):1–21.
Sheahan L. Exploring the interface between ‘physician-assisted death’ and palliative care: cross-sectional data from Australasian palliative care specialists. Intern Med J. 2016;46(4):443–51. doi: 10.1111/imj.13009.
Schroepfer TA, Noh H, Kavanaugh M. The myriad strategies for seeking control in the dying process. Gerontologist. 2009;49(6):755–766. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnp060.
Leppert W, Majkowicz M, Forycka M. Attitudes of Polish Physicians and Medical Students toward Breaking Bad News, Euthanasia and Morphine Administration in Cancer Patients. J Cancer Educ. 2013; 28: 603–610. doi: 10.1007/s13187-013-0553-2.
Anneser J, Jox R J, Thurn T, Borasio GD. Physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia and palliative sedation: attitudes and knowledge of medical students. GMS J Med Educ. 2016;33(1):1–14. doi: 10.3205/zma001010.
Mierzecki A, Rekawek K, Swiatkowski J, et al. Evaluation of attitude towards euthanasia expressed by first year medical students from Szczecin, Greifswald and Lund medical faculties. Ann Acad Med Stet. 2008;54(1):164–169.
Havaki-Kontaxaki BJ, Kontaxakis VP, Paplos KG, et al. Medical students’ attitudes on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: sex differences Ann Gen Hosp Psych. 2003;2(Suppl 1) S 112.
Roelands M, Van den Block L, Geurts S, et al. Attitudes of belgian students of medicine, philosophy, and law toward euthanasia and the conditions for its acceptance. Death Stud. 2015;39(1–5):139–5.
Grześkowiak A. 2017. Ochrona życia w nauczaniu Jana Pawła II. Studia Prawnicze KUL 2017;4:125–167.
Cohen J, Van Landeghem P, Carpentier N, et al. Public acceptance of euthanasia in Europe: a survey study in 47 countries. Int J Public Health. 2014;59:143–156. doi: 10.1007/s00038-013-0461-6.
Jacobs RK, Hendricks M, Hons BA. Medical students’ perspectives on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and their views on legalising these practices in South Africa. SAMJ. 2018;108(6):484–489. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2018.v108i6.13089.