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Detroit Area Study, 1999: Life and Death Decision Making (ICPSR 4121)

Principal Investigator(s): Anspach, Renee, University of Michigan


For this survey, respondents from three counties in the Detroit, Michigan, area were queried about their health, satisfaction with their health care, end of life decisions, policies about life and death decisions, and experiences with life and death decisions. The first set of questions asked respondents to rate their own health and to indicate whether they had seen a health care professional in the past five years as well as what type of health professional they had seen. They were also asked whether or not they trust the health care provider's judgment on medical decisions and whether they felt that a doctor or family members would follow the respondent's instructions for life sustaining procedures. The survey also explored how satisfied respondents were with the amount of time they spent with their doctor and the doctor's response to questions as well as their honesty and concern for their patient. Additional questions asked respondents how concerned HMO's are with costs and patient health and what their opinions were on how much money is spent on medical technology and care for terminally ill patients. Another set of questions sought respondent's opinions on terminating a patient's life support in a variety of different situations, including the treatment of critically ill infants. The survey also asked whether respondents or their family had ever experienced an end-of-life decision, whether they have discussed end-of-life decisions, and what types of methods they would consider. Respondents were also asked about their attitudes on the death penalty, abortion in certain situations, physician assisted suicide and the 1998 proposal to legalize physician assisted suicide. Background information includes marital status, employment, political orientation, and income.

Series: Detroit Area Studies Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Face-to-Face Survey - Download All Files (9.008 MB)
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DS2:  Mail/Web Survey - Download All Files (9.008 MB)
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DS3:  Combined Data File - Download All Files (5.152 MB)
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Study Description


Anspach, Renee. Detroit Area Study, 1999: Life and Death Decision Making. ICPSR04121-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-09-02. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04121.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04121.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    abortion, assisted suicide, capital punishment, death, decriminalization, doctor visits, health care, Health Maintenance Organizations, infants, law reform, life support systems, patient care, physician patient relationship, physicians, right to die, terminal care, terminal illness

Geographic Coverage:    Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1999

Date of Collection:   

  • 1999

Universe:    Residents 18 years and older in the tri-county area (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb) of Michigan.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The combined data file contains data only for the questions asked in both surveys.

One case from the mail/web survey is unaccounted for. The principal investigator confirmed that the number of cases in the existing dataset (n = 903) will be considered the official case count.

Variables csy1a through csy5, rsltcode, and county are missing from the original face to face survey codebook.

Removed a broken link from the Summary field on October 4, 2017.


Sample:    A two-stage area sample of 364 households was selected with probability proportionate to size from the Detroit Area Study replicate of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (SRC) 3-county Detroit sample based on 1990 Census data for Wayne, Oakland and Monroe Counties. These households were to be contacted for a face-to-face interview.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview, mail questionnaire, mixed mode, web-based survey

Data Source:

face to face and mail interviews

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2009-09-02

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