Health professionals' understanding and attitude towards the End of Life Choice Act 2019: a secondary analysis of Manatū Hauora - Ministry of Health workforce surveys
Dehkhoda A., Frey R., Carey M., Jing X., Bull S., Sundram F., Hoeh NR., Menkes D., Robinson J., Cheung G.
AIM: To determine socio-demographic factors associated with health professionals' understanding of the End of Life Choice Act (the Act), support for assisted dying (AD), and willingness to provide AD in New Zealand. METHOD: Secondary analysis of two Manatū Hauora - Ministry of Health workforce surveys conducted in February and July 2021. RESULTS: Our analysis showed (1) older health professionals (age>55) had a better overall understanding of the Act than their young colleagues (age35), (2) female health professionals were less likely to support and be willing to provide AD, (3) Asian health professionals were less likely to support AD compared to their Pākehā/European counterparts, (4) nurses were more likely to support AD and be willing to provide AD when compared to medical practitioners, and (5) pharmacists were more willing to provide AD when compared to medical practitioners. CONCLUSION: Several socio-demographic factors, including age, gender, ethnicity, and professional background, are significantly associated with health professionals' support and willingness to provide AD, with likely consequences for the AD workforce availability and service delivery in New Zealand. Future review of the Act could consider enhancing the roles of those professional groups with higher support and willingness to assist in providing AD services in caring for people requesting AD.