On Knowledge and Attitudes towards Living Wills among Medical University students


  • Hanyu Chang First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
  • Xia Li
  • Kaiqiang Wang
  • Lijun Yu




medical students, living wills, cognition, attitude, palliative care, end of life, medical education


Objectives of the study: 

During palliative care some patients cannot independently choose which therapies to accept or not to accept at the end of life and it is hence significant to promote and legalize the understanding of living wills amongst health professionals.

To understand the status of medical students' cognition and attitude toward living wills to provide a reference basis for future related research and promotion. Methods: A random cluster sampling survey was conducted among 718 medical students from five majors attending a medical university in Dalian, China. Results: The study showed that the awareness rate of living wills among medical students was 31.9%, 31.2% of medical students knew the essence of living wills, and  only 16.7% of medical students fully understood the contents of living wills. 72.4% of medical students believed that was necessary to popularize living wills, and the biggest obstacle was that people's attitude towards life and concept of death were in the stage of multiple contradictions, and the right to death autonomy was still controversial, accounting for 77.0%. Conclusions: The level of medical students' cognition of living wills is only broad but receives a relatively high support. Healthcare organizations should improve the cognition of living wills amongst meidcal students by hoilding training programs and creating a supporting environment, establish a Registration Center under the guidance of governments and gradually rdevelop  the formulation of relevant laws and regulations.

Main Contribution to Evidence-Based Practice:

The paper contributes to learn about the knowledge and attitudes towards living wills, especially among medical students. It also found detailed difficulties of promoting living wills, which can play a part in popularizing and legalizing living wills around the World.


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How to Cite

Chang, H., Li, X., Wang, K., & Yu, L. (2022). On Knowledge and Attitudes towards Living Wills among Medical University students. International Healthcare Review (online). https://doi.org/10.56226/27



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