Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 1020–1037 | Cite as

Beliefs in and About God and Attitudes Toward Voluntary Euthanasia

  • Shane Sharp
Original Paper


I use data from the General Social Survey to evaluate several hypotheses regarding how beliefs in and about God predict attitudes toward voluntary euthanasia. I find that certainty in the belief in God significantly predicts negative attitudes toward voluntary euthanasia. I also find that belief in a caring God and in a God that is the primary source of moral rules significantly predicts negative attitudes toward voluntary euthanasia. I also find that respondents’ beliefs about the how close they are to God and how close they want to be with God predict negative attitudes toward voluntary euthanasia. These associations hold even after controlling for religious affiliation, religious attendance, views of the Bible, and sociodemographic factors. The findings indicate that to understand individuals’ attitudes about voluntary euthanasia, one must pay attention to their beliefs in and about God.


Euthanasia God images Religious belief 



I thank Elizabeth Schewe for her helpful comments on a previous version of the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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