Challenges in End-of-Life Decisions in the Intensive Care Unit: An Ethical Perspective [Book Review]

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (1):93-101 (2013)

Hanne Jensen
Whitman College
When making end-of-life decisions in intensive care units (ICUs), different staff groups have different roles in the decision-making process and may not always assess the situation in the same way. The aim of this study was to examine the challenges Danish nurses, intensivists, and primary physicians experience with end-of-life decisions in ICUs and how these challenges affect the decision-making process. Interviews with nurses, intensivists, and primary physicians were conducted, and data is discussed from an ethical perspective. All three groups found that the main challenges were associated with interdisciplinary collaboration and future perspectives for the patient. Most of these challenges were connected with ethical issues. The challenges included different assessments of treatment potential, changes and postponements of withholding and withdrawing therapy orders, how and when to identify patients’ wishes, and suffering caused by the treatment. To improve end-of-life decision-making in the ICU, these challenges need to be addressed by interdisciplinary teams
Keywords Ethics  End-of-life  Collaboration  ICU  Interdisciplinarity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11673-012-9416-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,857
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Enough: The Failure of the Living Will.Angela Fagerlin & Carl E. Schneider - 2004 - Hastings Center Report 34 (2):30-42.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Futility, Autonomy, and Cost in End-of-Life Care.Mary Ann Baily - 2011 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 39 (2):172-182.


Added to PP index

Total views
39 ( #238,149 of 2,309,424 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #267,203 of 2,309,424 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature