Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Intensive Care Med. 2007 Oct;33(10):1732-9. Epub 2007 Jun 1.

The importance of religious affiliation and culture on end-of-life decisions in European intensive care units.

Author information

1
General Intensive Care Unit, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Medical Center, Hadassah Hebrew University, P.O. Box 12000, 91120, Jerusalem, Israel. sprung@cc.huji.ac.il

Erratum in

  • Intensive Care Med. 2007 Oct;33(10):1859.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the influence of religious affiliation and culture on end-of-life decisions in European intensive care units (ICUs).

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A prospective, observational study of European ICUs was performed on consecutive patients with any limitation of therapy. Prospectively defined end-of-life practices in 37 ICUs in 17 European countries studied from 1 January 1999 to 30 June 2000 were compared for frequencies, patterns, timing, and communication by religious affiliation of physicians and patients and regions.

RESULTS:

Of the 31,417 patients 3,086 had limitations. Withholding occurred more often than withdrawing if the physician was Jewish (81%), Greek Orthodox (78%), or Moslem (63%). Withdrawing occurred more often for physicians who were Catholic (53%), Protestant (49%), or had no religious affiliation (47%). End-of-life decisions differed for physicians between regions and who had any religious affiliation vs. no religious affiliation in all three geographical regions. Median time from ICU admission to first limitation of therapy was 3.2 days but varied by religious affiliation; from 1.6 days for Protestant to 7.6 days for Greek Orthodox physicians. Median times from limitations to death also varied by physician's religious affiliation. Decisions were discussed with the families more often if the physician was Protestant (80%), Catholic (70%), had no religious affiliation (66%) or was Jewish (63%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Significant differences associated with religious affiliation and culture were observed for the type of end of life decision, the times to therapy limitation and death, and discussion of decisions with patient families.

PMID:
17541550
DOI:
10.1007/s00134-007-0693-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center