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Opini?o de estudantes dos cursos de Direito e Medicina da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte sobre o aborto no Brasil

DOI: 10.1590/S0100-72032012000100004

Keywords: abortion, legal, abortion, induced [legislation & jurisprudence], anencephaly, education, medical [ethics], students, medical, lawyers.

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purpose: to analyze and compare the knowledge and opinions of law and medical students regarding the issue of abortion in brazil. methods: this was a cross-sectional study involving 125 graduate students from the class of 2010. of these, 52 were medical students (med group) and 73 law students (law group). a questionnaire was applied based on published research about the topic. dependent variables were: monitoring the abortion debate, knowledge concerning situations where abortion is permitted under brazilian law, opinion about situations that agree with extending legal permission to terminate pregnancy and prior knowledge of someone who has undergone induced abortion. independent variables were: sex, age, household income and graduation course. statistical analysis: χ2 and fisher's exact tests, with the level of significance set at 5%. results: most interviewees reported monitoring the debate on abortion in brazil (67.3% of the med group and 70.2% of the law group, p>0.05). when assessing knowledge on the subject, medical students had a significantly higher percentage of correct answers than law students (100.0 and 87.5%, respectively; p=0.005) regarding the legality of abortion for pregnancies resulting from rape. elevated percentages of correct responses were also recorded for both groups in relation to pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother (94.2 and 87.5% for med and law groups, respectively), but without statistical significance. a significant percentage of respondents declared they were in favor of extending legal abortion to other situations, primarily in cases of anencephaly (68%), pregnancy severely harming the mother's physical health (42.1%) or that of the fetus in cases of severe congenital malformation (33.7%). conclusion: results showed a satisfactory knowledge on the part of law and medical school graduate students regarding the legality of abortion in brazil, combined with a favorable trend towards extending legal permission to other situa


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