Death Education and Advance Healthcare Directive: A Qualitative Research on The Bioethical Positioning among Undergraduate Psychology and Social Service Students
Prof. Ines Testoni, Dr. Elisa Tiberto, Dr. Sara Pompele, Dr. Ciro De Vincenzo, Prof. Andrea Maccarini

After a controversial political and social process, at the beginning of 2018 Law 219/2017: “Norms concerning informative consent and Advanced Treatment Directives” came into existence. With this law, the conflict of position between Catholics and Laics, which characterized Italian culture over the past decades, has imposed a social change that needs to be supported on a psychological and educational level. After years of censorship, death education appears as a suitable strategy to meet this need. The present qualitative research was realized with social service and psychology students at a University in Northern Italy. The objective of this study was to explore the bioethical positioning reached by students on the basis of their educational reflection on these issues. The result shows how Catholic students focus on finding an innovative solution to overcome Italian bioethical conflicts, because they do not consider self-determination to be in contrast with Christian values. It also emerged that, from a professional point of view, almost all students recognized the inescapability of respecting the patient's wishes, regardless of their personal point of view. Among the believers, only a few of them mentioned how uncertain they were in handling the dilemma. These results show how Death Education can be useful in the formative processes, whereby courses in psychology and social service are included in the University’s curriculum.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v8n1a4