Nursing Ethics 17 (1):87-98 (2010)

Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the opinions and role of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses regarding the distribution of ICU beds. We conducted this research among 30% of the attendees at two ICU congresses in Turkey. A self-administered questionnaire was used, which included 13 cases and allocation criteria. Of the total (136 nurses), 53.7% participated in admission/discharge decisions. The most important criterion was quality of life as viewed by the physician; the least important was the patient’s social status. According to the findings, the nurses thought that medical benefit and avoiding discrimination were important. On the other hand their ignorance of patients’ autonomous preferences arouses suspicions about these nurses’ role in advocating for patients’ rights. For this reason, nurses’ role in allocation decisions should be clearly described and should also be the basis on which intensive care nurses’ duties in allocation decisions should be determined
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DOI 10.1177/0969733009349992
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