Lessons from the Departed: A Planned Behavior Approach to Understand Travelers’ Actual Physician-Assisted Suicide Behavior

Edmund Goh, Jun Wen, Chung-En Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Traveling to die in another country is a morbid, but pertinent, topic that remains underresearched in tourism. This project aims to address this research gap by examining the underlying motivations of actual individual travelers who have travelled to Switzerland as their final life destination to commit physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Using documentaries from major news channels, content analysis was conducted to systematically examine interviews conducted with actual PAS travelers (n = 26) before they ended their life legally through PAS in Switzerland. An extension of the theory of planned behavior with anticipated guilt was commissioned as the theoretical lens to investigate the actual behavior of travelers who have committed PAS. A total of three key attitudes, three social groups, and four perceived constraints were identified. Results identified putting an end to suffering and to die with dignity as key attitudinal items influencing PAS behavior. The reference groups of family and relatives emerged as key salient normative groups. With regard to perceived difficulties, lack of access to facilities and high financial costs were key constraints in the decision to commit PAS. A key contribution of this research found evidence of anticipated guilt as an additional theory of planned behavior variable in actual PAS behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1675-1689
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Hospitality & Tourism Research
Volume46
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

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