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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


GAUDENCIO, Debora  and  MESSEDER, Octavio. Dilemmas of the end-of-life: information about the medical practice in the ICUs. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, suppl.1, pp.813-820. ISSN 1678-4561.

The objective of this research was to investigate the knowledge, opinion and practice of critical care physician concerning end-of-life decisions. In this descriptive and cross-sectional study a questionnaire was applied to the physicians working in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Semi-ICU of 5 Hospitals in Salvador, Bahia State. Currently the physicians dealing with terminal patients are indeed concerned about providing comfort to their patients, and at times even avoiding the use of life support measures. Nevertheless, many of the participants admitted that they have omitted information regarding these decisions in the medical records, as they fear consequences with the Medical Council or civil actions against them. This insecurity is related to the lack of information and the absence of an established and clear legislation on these matters. More discussions on this important subject are necessary, involving physicians, hospitals and patients.

Keywords : Dilemmas; End-of-life; Terminal patient; Decisions; Life support measures.

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