Finnish Nurses' Views on End-of-Life Discussions and a Comparison with Physicians' Views

Nursing Ethics 11 (2):165-178 (2004)
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Abstract

This study investigated Finnish nurses’ experiences and views on end-of-life decision making and compared them with physicians’ views. For this purpose, a questionnaire was sent to 800 nurses, of which 51% responded. Most of the nurses had a positive attitude towards and respect for living wills, more often than physicians. Most also believed that a will had an effect on decision making. Almost all of the nurses considered it their responsibility to talk to physicians about respecting living wills. Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders were often interpreted to imply partial or complete palliative (symptom-orientated) care, which may cause confusion. Half of the nurses reported that a DNR decision was discussed always or often with a patient who was able to communicate; physicians were more positive in this respect. Surprisingly, many nurses (44%) stated that active treatment continued too long. Two-thirds thought that their opinions were taken into account sufficiently, even though only half believed that, in general, they had some impact

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End of life decisions: attitudes of Finnish physicians.H.-M. Hilden - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (4):362-365.

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