Perceptions of Japanese Patients and Their Family About Medical Treatment Decisions
Nursing & health sciences 2010 Sep 1; 12(3): 314-21
Internationally, nurses and physicians are increasingly expected to undertake roles in communication and patient advocacy, including in Japan, where the reigning principle underlying medical ethics is in transition from paternalism to respect for patient autonomy. The study reports the results of a survey in two Japanese teaching hospitals that clarified the perspectives of 128 patients and 41 family members regarding their current and desired involvement in health decision-making. The commonest process that was desired by patients and their family was for patients to make decisions after consultation with both the physician and their family. The decision-making preferences for competent patients varied among the participants, who believed that families have a crucial role to play in health-care decision-making, even when patients are competent to make their own decisions. The findings will inform health professionals about contemporary Japanese health-care decision-making and the ethical issues involved in this process, as well as assist the future development of a culturally relevant model to support patients' preferences for ethical decision-making.
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