Nursing Ethics 15 (1):110-120 (2008)

The aim of this study was to ascertain nurses' and doctors' perspectives on the practice of slow codes, which are cardiopulmonary resuscitative efforts that are intentionally performed too slowly for resuscitation to occur. A Heideggerian phenomenological study was conducted in 2005, during which data were gathered in the Republic of Ireland from three nurses and two doctors (via unstructured interviews) and analysed using Colaizzi's reductive procedure. Slow codes do occur in Ireland and are intended as beneficent acts. However, slow codes were identified as pointless and undignified when intrusive measures were employed. There is a need for discussion on the topic of slow codes in Ireland, and for aids to cardiopulmonary resuscitation decision making to be developed, such as advance directives, communication training, clinical guidelines and an explanatory leaflet for patients and families
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DOI 10.1177/0969733007084164
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