This study is aimed at exploring attitudes toward the controversial issue of euthanasia through a survey of 130 individuals who were members of attenders of either the Wooster United Methodist Church, Saint Mary's Catholic Church, or the Knesseth Israel Temple in Wooster, Ohio. Although the main purpose of the study is to determine the effects of religion (religious affiliation, religious ideology or belief, attendance at religious services, activity in the church or synagogue, and length of membership) on attitudes toward euthanasia, several other secondary and attitudinal variables are taken into account and discussed. The independent variables are studied in relation to four different types of euthanasia; voluntary active, voluntary passive, involuntary active and involuntary passive. In addition, the independent variables are observed in relation to different conditions for euthanasia. It was found that, of the different types of euthanasia, voluntary passive had the most support of the respondents, followed by voluntary active, involuntary passive, and involuntary active, in that order. Jews were most accepting of euthanasia followed by Methodists and then Catholics. This idea was related to the finding that the Jewish respondents attended church less, and were more liberal in their religious beliefs than the Methodist respondents, who attended less and were more liberal in beliefs than the Catholic respondents. A series of regressions for the different types of euthanasia shows that religious affiliation, attendance, dogmatism, level of education, the respondent's feelings about the physician's responsibility to the patient, and the respondent's attitude about who shmild decide about the action of euthanasia are important predictors of the attitudes toward one or more of the different types of euthanasia. Finally, implications of euthanasia on religion, social policy, and society in general are discussed.


Stroup, Atlee

Second Advisor

McBride, James


Sociology and Anthropology; Religious Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150



© Copyright 1989 Tracy S. Kaufman