Religious observance and perceptions of end-of-life care

Mahdi Tarabeih, Ya'arit Bokek-Cohen, Riad Abu Rakia, Tshura Nir, Natalie E. Coolidge, Pazit Azuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examines the impact of the level of religious observance on the attitudes toward end-of-life (EOL) decisions and euthanasia of Jews in Israel—where euthanasia is illegal—as compared to Jews living in the USA, in the states where euthanasia is legal. A self-reporting questionnaire on religiosity and personal beliefs and attitudes regarding EOL care and euthanasia was distributed, using a convenience sample of 271 participants from Israel and the USA. Findings show that significant differences were found in attitudes between Jews of different levels of religious observance with respect to patient autonomy, right to die with dignity, and dying in familiar and supportive surroundings. The USA and Israeli Jews have similar knowledge regarding EOL care and expressed similar attitudes and perceptions toward the issues of authority of medical staff and religious figures and patient's autonomy. Findings indicate that the level of religious observance has more potency in shaping their attitudes and perceptions of EOL decisions than the state law. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings with regard to multicultural health systems and providing practical recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12347
JournalNursing Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • death and dying
  • end-of-life care
  • multicultural issues
  • palliative care
  • religion


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