Advance directives and the family: French and American perspectives

Clinical Ethics 2 (3):139-145 (2007)
Abstract
Several studies have explored differences between North American and European doctor patient relationships. They have focused primarily on differences in philosophical traditions and historic and socioeconomic factors between these two regions that might lead to differences in behaviour, as well as divergent concepts in and justifications of medical practice. However, few empirical intercultural studies have been carried out to identify in practice these cultural differences. This lack of standard comparative empirical studies led us to compare differences between France and the USA regarding end-of-life decision-making. We tested certain assertions put forward by bioethicists concerning the impact of culture on the acceptance of advance directives in such decisions. In particular, we compared North American and French intensive care professional's attitudes toward: (1) advance directives, and (2) the role of the family in decisions to withhold or withdraw life-support
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