Attitudes and preferences of intensivists regarding the role of family interests in medical decision making for incompetent patients

Title

Attitudes and preferences of intensivists regarding the role of family interests in medical decision making for incompetent patients

Creator

Hardart GE; Truog RD

Publisher

Critical Care Medicine

Date

2003

Subject

Child; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; infant; Male; United States; Mental Competency; Adult; Data Collection; Attitude of Health Personnel; Middle Aged; Professional-Family Relations; Euthanasia; Religion and Medicine; Legal Guardians; Morals; Intensive Care; Hospitals; Ethics; Teaching; Medical; decision making; Newborn; ICU Decision Making; Passive

Description

OBJECTIVE: The role of family interests in medical decision making is controversial. Physicians who routinely treat incompetent patients may have preferred strategies for addressing family interests as they are encountered in surrogate medical decision making. We sought to determine how physicians view the role of family interests in surrogate medical decision making. DESIGN: Cross-sectional mail survey. SETTING: Remote study.PATIENTS: Surveyed were neonatologists, pediatric intensivists, and medical intensivists affiliated with American medical schools. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A total of 327 (55%) of 596 surveys were returned; 35% of respondents were pediatric intensivists, 39% were neonatologists, and 26% were medical intensivists. The majority of respondents believed that family interests should be considered in decisions for incompetent patients, even if those interests are not necessarily important interests of the patient. Less than 10% preferred the traditional model in which the physician-patient relationship is exclusive and family interests are excluded. Medical intensivists, and those who described themselves as more religious, more opposed to healthcare rationing, and more protective of patients, tended to prefer patient-centered surrogate decision-making models. Physicians who treat children, especially neonatologists, were more accepting of family-centered surrogate decision-making models than were physicians who exclusively treat adults. CONCLUSIONS: A majority of the academic intensivists in our study believed that family interests should play an important role in medical decision making for incompetent patients. Our findings suggest that the traditional view of the physician-patient relationship may represent an overly simplistic model for medical decision making.
2003

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

1895-1900

Issue

7

Volume

31

Citation

Hardart GE; Truog RD, “Attitudes and preferences of intensivists regarding the role of family interests in medical decision making for incompetent patients,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 24, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/12813.

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