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1 "Na Ri Seok"
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Original Article
The Current Status of Medical Decision-Making for Dying Patients in a Medical Intensive Care Unit: A Single-Center Study
Kyunghwa Shin, Jeong Ha Mok, Sang Hee Lee, Eun Jung Kim, Na Ri Seok, Sun Suk Ryu, Myoung Nam Ha, Kwangha Lee
Korean J Crit Care Med. 2014;29(3):160-165.   Published online August 31, 2014
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Many terminally ill patients die while receiving life-sustaining treatment. Recently, the discussion of life-sustaining treatment in intensive care units (ICUs) has increased. This study is aimed to evaluate the current status of medical decision-making for dying patients.
The medical records of patients who had died in the medical ICU from March 2011 to February 2012 were reviewed retrospectively.
Eighty-nine patients were enrolled. Their mean age was 65.8 +/- 13.3 years and 73.0% were male. The most common diagnosis was acute respiratory failure, and the most common comorbidity was hemato-oncologic malignancy. Withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment including do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders was discussed for 64 (71.9%) patients. In almost all cases, the discussion involved a physician and the patient's family. No patient wrote advance directives themselves before ICU admission. Of the patients for whom withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment was discussed, the decisions were recorded in formal consent documents in 36 (56.3%) cases, while 28 (43.7%) cases involved verbal consent. In patients granting verbal consent, death within one day of the consent was more common than in those with formal document consent (85.7% vs. 61.1%, p < 0.05). The most common demand was a DNR order. Patients died 2.7 +/- 1.0 days after the decision for removal of life-sustaining treatment.
The decision-making for life-sustaining treatment of dying patients in the ICU very often involves conflict. There is a general need to heighten our sensitivity on the objective decision-making based on patient autonomy.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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    Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing.2021; 51(1): 15.     CrossRef
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    Acute and Critical Care.2020; 35(3): 179.     CrossRef
  • Factors Associated With Quality of Death in Korean ICUs As Perceived by Medical Staff: A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Survey
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  • Transcultural Adaptation and Validation of Quality of Dying and Death Questionnaire in Medical Intensive Care Units in South Korea
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    Acute and Critical Care.2018; 33(2): 95.     CrossRef

ACC : Acute and Critical Care