Attitudes toward end-of-life decision making in South Texas

Martin L Hechanova, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Advance care planning has the potential to create positive outcomes in the realm of end-of-life health care. The completion of advance directives and living wills are vital in equipping patients with autonomy and ensuring that their end-of-life wishes are respected. However, there remains a lack of knowledge and low completion rates of advance directives despite their possible improvements and ramifications on health care at the end of life. This study seeks to determine the knowledge of and attitudes towards end-of-life decision-making in South Texas. The study is designed as a cross-sectional, exploratory survey using a descriptive survey instrument to query 71 subjects in South Texas. The setting for the study includes three distinct groups, two in San Antonio, Texas and one in Brownsville, Texas. Unique differences in demographics between the three groups, such as variability in age, ethnicity, language and religious affiliation allowed for preliminary associations to be concluded in describing the results of the survey instrument. Ultimately, this study describes the attitudes and perceptions of advance care planning in South Texas and reveals the need for further education and awareness of the topic, perhaps indicating the need for a public health initiative in this regard.

Subject Area

Medical Ethics|Public health

Recommended Citation

Hechanova, Martin L, "Attitudes toward end-of-life decision making in South Texas" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1511815.