Attitudes to End-of-Life Decisions in Paediatric Intensive Care
Senses, Muesser Ozcan
Aydin Er, Rahime
Nursing Ethics 2009 January; 16(1): 83-92
The aim of this study was to assess attitudes of intensive care nurses to selected ethical issues related to end-of-life decisions in paediatric intensive care units. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed in 2005 to intensive care nurses at two different scientific occasions in Turkey. Of the 155 intensive care nurse participants, 98% were women. Fifty-three percent of these had intensive care experience of more than four years. Most of the nurses failed to agree about withholding (65%) or withdrawing (60%) futile treatment. In addition, 68% agreed that intravenous nutrition must continue at all costs. In futile treatment cases, the nurses tended to leave the decision to parents or act maternalistically. The results showed that intensive care nurses could ignore essential ethical duties in end-of-life care. We suggest that it is necessary to educate Turkish intensive care nurses about ethical issues at the end of life.
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