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1 "Na Ri Seok"
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Original Article
Ethics
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
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4266/kjccm.2014.29.3.160
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  • 5 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
The medical records of patients who had died in the medical ICU from March 2011 to February 2012 were reviewed retrospectively.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSIONS
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

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Agreement between Family Members and the Physician’s View in the ICU Environment: Personal Experience as a Factor Influencing Attitudes towards Corresponding Hypothetical Situations
    Paraskevi Stamou, Dimitrios Tsartsalis, Georgios Papathanakos, Elena Dragioti, Mary Gouva, Vasilios Koulouras
    Healthcare.2023; 11(3): 345.     CrossRef
  • Family's Perception of Proxy Decision Making to Authorize Do Not Resuscitate Order of Elderly Patients in Long Term Care Facility: A Q-Methodological Study
    Hyeon Jin Cho, Jiyeon Kang
    Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing.2021; 51(1): 15.     CrossRef
  • Decision-making regarding withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and the role of intensivists in the intensive care unit: a single-center study
    Seo In Lee, Kyung Sook Hong, Jin Park, Young-Joo Lee
    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
    Jun Yeun Cho, Ju-Hee Park, Junghyun Kim, Jinwoo Lee, Jong Sun Park, Young-Jae Cho, Ho Il Yoon, Sang-Min Lee, Jae-Ho Lee, Choon-Taek Lee, Yeon Joo Lee
    Critical Care Medicine.2019; 47(9): 1208.     CrossRef
  • Transcultural Adaptation and Validation of Quality of Dying and Death Questionnaire in Medical Intensive Care Units in South Korea
    Jun Yeun Cho, Jinwoo Lee, Sang-Min Lee, Ju-Hee Park, Junghyun Kim, Youlim Kim, Sang Hoon Lee, Jong Sun Park, Young-Jae Cho, Ho Il Yoon, Jae Ho Lee, Choon-Taek Lee, Yeon Joo Lee
    Acute and Critical Care.2018; 33(2): 95.     CrossRef

ACC : Acute and Critical Care