Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Mayo Clin Proc. 2007 Jun;82(6):686-91.

Report of 255 clinical ethics consultations and review of the literature.

Author information

1
Division of General Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review clinical ethics consultations at a tertiary care academic medical center.

METHODS:

We retrospectively reviewed all ethics consultations (and associated patient medical records) conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, between April 6, 1995, and December 31, 2005.

RESULTS:

Of the 255 consultations, 101 (40%) reviewed intensive care unit care, 103 (40%) involved patients who died during hospitalization, and 174 (68%) were requested by physicians. The most common primary diagnoses of the patients involved were malignancy (18%, n=47), neurologic disease (18%, n=47), and cardiovascular disease (17%, n=43). Most cases involved multiple issues: patient competency and decision-making capacity (82%, n=208), staff member disagreement with care plans (76%, n=195), end-of-life and quality-of-life issues (60%, n=154), and goals of care and futility (54%, n=138). Withholding or withdrawing measures was the focus of 132 (52%) of the consultations. We also identified previously published reports of ethics consultations and compared the findings of those reports with ours.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite advances in medicine, the nature of ethical dilemmas remains relatively unchanged. Issues of communication, family conflict, and futility continue to give rise to ethical quandaries.

PMID:
17550748
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center