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Titre du document / Document title

The difference between withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment

Auteur(s) / Author(s)

MELLTORP G. (1) ; NILSTUN T. (2) ;

Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital MAS, 20502 Malmö, SUEDE
(2) Department of Medical Ethics, Lund University, St. Grabrodersgatan 16, 222 22 Lund, SUEDE

Résumé / Abstract

Objectives: First, to present the position on the distinction between withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment as expressed in guidelines and examine its relation to the attitudes of health care professionals. Second, to examine the possible ethical justification of this distinction. Design, setting, and participants: Critical analysis of guidelines on life-sustaining treatment and questionnaire administered to 148 health care professionals - physicians and nurses at the intensive care unit (ICU), University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Sweden. Results: In contrast to the guidelines, which emphasize that there is no ethical difference between withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, not less than 50 per cent of the professionals in the ICU were of the opinion that there is an ethical difference. All attempts to justify this difference with reference to an inherent distinction between withholding and withdrawing seem to be controversial. Conclusions: We recommend a change in emphasis in professional guidelines. Such guidelines should avoid the controversial issue about the possible inherent ethical difference between withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. What should be underlined is that the particular situation and the consequences of withholding as well as withdrawing life-sustaining treatment should always be taken into account.

Revue / Journal Title

Intensive care medicine    ISSN  0342-4642   CODEN ICMED9 

Source / Source

1997, vol. 23, no12, pp. 1264-1267 (29 ref.)

Langue / Language

Anglais

Editeur / Publisher

Springer, Heidelberg, ALLEMAGNE  (1977) (Revue)

Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords

Withdrawal

;

Ethics

;

Intensive care

;

Tracking(movable target)

;

Human

;

Mots-clés français / French Keywords

Arrêt traitement

;

Ethique

;

Soin intensif

;

Poursuite

;

Homme

;

Mots-clés espagnols / Spanish Keywords

Paro tratamiento

;

Etica

;

Cuidado intensivo

;

Persecución y continuación

;

Hombre

;

Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 16256, 35400007720122.0120

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 2092843



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