Attitudes of European physicians, nurses, patients, and families regarding end-of-life decisions: the ETHICATT study
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To evaluate attitudes of Europeans regarding end-of-life decisions.
Design and setting
Responses to a questionnaire by physicians and nurses working in ICUs, patients who survived ICU, and families of ICU patients in six European countries were compared for attitudes regarding quality and value of life, ICU treatments, active euthanasia, and place of treatment.
Measurements and results
Questionnaires were distributed to 4,389 individuals and completed by 1,899 (43%). Physicians (88%) and nurses (87%) found quality of life more important and value of life less important in their decisions for themselves than patients (51%) and families (63%). If diagnosed with a terminal illness, health professionals wanted fewer ICU admissions, uses of CPR, and ventilators (21%, 8%, 10%, respectively) than patients and families (58%, 49%, 44%, respectively). More physicians (79%) and nurses (61%) than patients (58%) and families (48%) preferred being home or in a hospice if they had a terminal illness with only a short time to live.
Quality of life was more important for physicians and nurses than patients and families. More medical professionals want fewer ICU treatments and prefer being home or in a hospice for a terminal illness than patients and families.
- Attitudes of European physicians, nurses, patients, and families regarding end-of-life decisions: the ETHICATT study
Intensive Care Medicine
Volume 33, Issue 1 , pp 104-110
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- End of life
- End of life decisions
- End-of-life care
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. General Intensive Care Unit, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, PO Box 12000, 91120, Jerusalem, Israel
- 2. Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging, and Department of Sociology of Health, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
- 3. Department of Anesthesiology, Orebro University Hospital, Orebro and Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
- 4. Hadassah School of Public Health, Hebrew University--Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
- 5. Department of Medicine, University College London, London, UK
- 6. Department of Intensive Care, Hospital Geral Santo Antonio, Porto, Portugal
- 7. Department of Intensive Care, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 8. Department of Intensive Care, Masaryk, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
- 9. Department of Medicine, Charles University Medical School and Teaching Hospital, Pilsen, Czech Republic
- 10. Institution of Clinical Medicine, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden