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  1. Age and life-sustaining treatment : Attitudes of intensive care unit professionals.

    Article - En anglais

    Background 

    In Sweden, the official policy is that life-sustaining treatment should not be denied because of chronological age.

    This policy is also emphasised in a recent official report on priority setting in health care.

    But is this policy accepted among health care professionals ?

    Do they consider chronological age relevant when decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment are to be made ?

    Method 

    Questionnaire survey to physicians, registered nurses and enrolled nurses at the Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Sweden.

    Results 

    More than 65% of the respondents were of the opinion that chronological age per se influenced decisions about life-sustaining treatment.

    Fewer, a little more than 40%, answered that it would make a difference to their own judgment about life-sustaining treatment whether the patient is 25 or 75 years old.

    The respondents were also confronted with 10 different factors characterising patients in need of life-sustaining treatment.

    According to a majority, advance directive, decision-making capacity, and chronological age should be taken into consideration in these situations.

    Conclusion 

    The results indicate that chronological age is used as a criterion when decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment are to be made in the ICU.

    Many health care professionals also believe that chronological age should be used as a criterion. (...)

    Mots-clés Pascal : Soin intensif, Suède, Europe, Age, Homme, Choix, Réanimation, Attitude, Personnel sanitaire, Prise décision, Ethique, Enquête, Acharnement thérapeutique

    Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Intensive care, Sweden, Europe, Age, Human, Choice, Resuscitation, Attitude, Health staff, Decision making, Ethics, Inquiry

    Logo du centre Notice produite par :
    Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique

    Cote : 96-0461476

    Code Inist : 002B27B15. Création : 10/04/1997.