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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2002 Sep 10;122(21):2098-101.

[Parents' experiences with life-and-death decisions concerning their premature infants].

[Article in Norwegian]

Author information

  • 1Senter for medisinsk etikk Universitetet i Oslo Postboks 1130 Blindern 0318 Oslo. berit.stoere.brinchmann@hibo.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The study is concerned with parents' experience with life-and-death decisions concerning their premature infants in hospitals neonatal units. What are parents' attitudes towards their being involved in such decision-making?

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

During the 1997-2000 period, 20 qualitative interviews with 35 parents of 26 children were made. A qualitative, comparative method (grounded theory) was used for the analysis, which was carried out in parallel with data collection.

RESULTS:

Parents are exposed to great mental pressure, which may bring about a sense of ambivalence and a wish to avoid responsibility. Most parents do not wish to have the final word in decisions concerning their infant's life or death. Such a responsibility is likely to make parents feel guilty and puts too heavy a burden on the parents, but parents wish to be informed and taken seriously in the decision making-process.

INTERPRETATION:

Parents value health professionals' communication and information more than parent autonomy and right to choose.

Comment in

PMID:
12555644
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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