Aged Care Professor awarded grant for euthanasia study

Thursday, 8 January 2009

8 January 2009: Australian Catholic University (ACU National) Aged Care Associate Professor, Dr Fran McInerney, has been awarded a $50,000 grant to explore Victorian Division 1 Registered Nurses' perceptions of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

Dr McInerney said she was both thrilled and privileged to receive the grant, which will enable her to pursue an area she has been exploring for more than a decade.

“Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide – or requested death - are always controversial topics, prompting strong responses among both health professionals and the general community,” she said.

“Most studies to date have taken a survey approach, with findings expressed in simplified, ‘for-and-against’ terms.  However with this study I plan to explore nurses’ perceptions of requested death via individual, semi-structured interviews.

“These interviews will be analysed to identify the values and understandings that underpin responses, and points of consensus and tension.”

Dr McInerney said the results of the study would provide greater insights into practices and beliefs than are currently captured in polarised debates and survey findings, which would in turn enhance professional nursing practice.

The Mona Menzies Postdoctoral Research Grant was awarded to Dr McInerney by the Nurses Board of Victoria.

Australian Catholic University (ACU National) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives. Visit www.acu.edu.au

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