The best care and management of patients in persistent vegetative state (PVS) has been the subject of sustained moral and legal debate for a number of years.
However, the views of specialist doctors in Belgium involved in the care for patients in PVS are largely unknown.
Method, A postal questionnaire was sent to 403 members of Belgian Societies of Neurosurgeons, Neurologists and Rehabilitation Doctors.
Their views were sought on various aspects of the management and care of PVS, focusing on the issue of the appropriateness of non-treatment and the withdrawal of artificial feeding.
Of the 208 doctors who completed the questionnaires (52%), 172 (83%) indicated that they had been involved in the management of a patient in PVS. 88% of the responding doctors thought it was sometimes appropriate not to treat acute infections or other life-threatening conditions in a PVS patient.
Fifty-six percent considered it sometimes appropriate to withdraw artificial feeding.
About three-quarter of physicians who considered both treatment-limiting decisions appropriate thought that such decisions could be considered within the first year of the patient being in PVS.
Forty per cent accorded a decisive influence to an advance directive and only a small number of doctors considered the influence of the patient's family in the decision to withdraw artificial feeding as decisive. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Etat végétatif, Persistance, Continu, Belgique, Europe, Médecin, Attitude, Soin intensif, Pratique professionnelle, Arrêt traitement, Prise décision, Ethique, Conduite à tenir, Homme, Système nerveux pathologie, Trouble neurologique, Trouble conscience, Coma
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Vegetative state, Persistence, Continuous, Belgium, Europe, Physician, Attitude, Intensive care, Professional practice, Withdrawal, Decision making, Ethics, Clinical management, Human, Nervous system diseases, Neurological disorder, Consciousness impairment, Coma
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0386501
Code Inist : 002B31. Création : 25/01/1999.