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Critical Review of Two Qualitative Research Articles on Euthanasia

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Introduction

Title: Critical Review of Two Qualitative Research Articles specific to the Study of Euthanasia. Abstract: This critique scrutinises the methodology and credibility of rigour used with two articles based on euthanasia. Two qualitative research studies of ethnographic and grounded-theory origin are explored. Key results from both studies include the increasing acceptance over time of a euthanasia alternative. Implications for best practice and recommendations are outlined, including an acknowledgement that palliative care is an important area of study that nurse education needs to pay particular attention to, incorporating the caring focus surrounding palliative care and the euthanasia debate. (Article 1): Kuuppelom�ki, M 2000, 'Attitudes of cancer patients, their family members and health professionals toward active euthanasia', European Journal of cancer Care, vol. 9, iss. 1, p.16, (on-line Blackwell-Synergy). (Article 2): Doerclx de Casterle, B & Gastmans, C & Verpoort, C 2004, 'Palliative care nurses' views on euthanasia', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 47, iss. 6, p. 592, (on-line Blackwell-Synergy). 1. Introduction and objectives of articles. Article 1: An ethnographic study allows the 'capture of multiple and different voices' (Crookes & Davies 2004, p.77). Kuppelomakis' qualitative ethnographic study, undertaken in two central hospitals and four Health Centres in Finland, expresses views of patients, family members, nurses and physicians in relation to active euthanasia. Researchers aimed to discover the attitudes of patients with incurable cancer, family members of these patients, medical and nursing staff towards active euthanasia, and the reasoning behind these attitudes in the different groups. The researcher defines 'Active euthanasia' as the giving of a lethal dose of something to speed death'. Article 2: This qualitative grounded-theory study aimed to report palliative care nurses viewpoints on euthanasia in Belgium where euthanasia was being debated. Crookes & Davies (2004) explain a grounded-theory study generates knowledge and develops explanations. The researchers felt that nurses' voices were not heard during the debates and that their voice was an important one considering their immersion in the caring process surrounding euthanasia. ...read more.

Middle

The scope of the research fitted the sample and setting. All ethical considerations and methodological rigour were met. Article 2: A decision and audit trail was set up illustrating dependability and confirmability of data. A systematic process was adopted for the collection of materials and documentation. Frequent discussions and meetings with supervisors confirming coding, categories and interpretations took place. At the end of the study experts challenged the findings of the researcher via a peer debriefing process and unclear points were questioned. This article gives no background information on the interviewer. 8. Comparisons of findings within each article. Article 1: The most important result from this study was that more than half of the participants could justify active euthanasia. An inductive statement about results providing 'some' evidence of greater euthanasia acceptance, is made citing previous studies. Sample size is much bigger than article 2 allowing 'some' credibility with narratives supporting this conclusion and the studies main objective. No general recommendations are made and further evidence is needed to show support for this conclusion. Evidence may show different conclusions from different learning experience, and circular arguments are difficult to ensure interconnected reasoning are recorded and alternatives are given (Van Den Brink-Budgen 1996). Article 2: The most outstanding finding was that participants were not strongly for or against euthanasia. Attitudes were connected with the situation and each individual case. Both articles found there was no reasonable majority either for or against euthanasia but that acceptance was inextricably linked with the situation and patient condition. Both reported previous findings in literature of small proportions in favour of euthanasia. Reasons given for acceptance or rejection of euthanasia were similar amongst both studies, however, article one found euthanasia was more acceptable in terminally ill patients and article two found it was more acceptable when suffering was visible. 9. Health care practice and incorporation of findings. Euthanasia immediately evokes feelings of a taboo subject and of clandestine activities, with discussions held in hushed tones. ...read more.

Conclusion

conduct of research 3.2 Inaccurate or confuse description the principles of ethical conduct of research 1.6 Clearly and accurately compared and contrasts the analysis of data 8 Accurately compares and contrasts the analysis of data 6.4 Mostly accurate comparison of the analysis of data 4.8 Describes analysis of data 3.2 Inaccurate description of the analysis of data. 1.6 Clear, succinct integration of discussion on how the research findings may be incorporated into health care practices 8 Clear and appropriate discussion on how the research findings may be incorporated into health care practices 6.4 Appropriate discussion on how the research findings may be incorporated into health care practices 4.8 Discussion on how the research findings is present but it is not clear how these may be incorporated into health care practices 3.2 Fails to discuss how the research findings may be incorporated into health care practices 1.6 Referencing (20%): Referencing is consistent throughout with Author-date system Consistently integrates up-to-date references to support and reflect all ideas, factual information and quotations 5 Generally integrates up-to-date references to support and reflect ideas, factual information and quotations, with 1 or 2 exceptions 4 Frequently integrates up-to-date references to support and reflect ideas, factual information and quotations, with 3 or 4 exceptions 3 Occasionally integrates up-to-date references to support and reflect ideas, factual information and quotations, with 5 or 6 exceptions 2 Fails to or infrequent attempts (>7 errors) to integrate up-to-date references to support and reflect ideas, factual information and quotations 1 Consistently accurate with referencing. A minimum of 10 references used including 7 journal articles and relevant web-sites 5 1 or 2 consistent referencing errors identified. A minimum of 10 references used including 6 journal articles and relevant web-sites 4 3 or 4 consistent referencing errors identified. A minimum of 10 references used including 5 journal articles and relevant web-sites 3 3 or 4 inconsistent referencing errors identified. A minimum of 10 references used including 4 journal articles and relevant web-sites 2 Many inaccuracies with referencing (>5). ...read more.

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