Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009 Nov;163(11):986-92. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.180.

Parental views on withdrawing life-sustaining therapies in critically ill children.

Author information

1
Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society, Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. kmichelson@childrensmemorial.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To broaden existing knowledge of pediatric end-of-life decision making by exploring factors described by parents of patients in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) as important/influential if they were to consider withdrawing life-sustaining therapies.

DESIGN:

Quantitative and qualitative analysis of semi-structured one-on-one interviews.

SETTING:

The PICUs at 2 tertiary care hospitals.

PARTICIPANTS:

English- or Spanish-speaking parents who were older than 17 years and whose child was admitted to the PICU for more than 24 hours to up to 1 week.

INTERVENTION:

Semi-structured one-on-one interviews.

RESULTS:

Forty of 70 parents (57%) interviewed said they could imagine a situation in which they would consider withdrawing life-sustaining therapies. When asked if specific factors might influence their decision making, 64% of parents said they would consider withdrawing life-sustaining therapies if their child were suffering; 51% would make such a decision based on quality-of-life considerations; 43% acknowledged the influence of physician-estimated prognosis in their decision; and 7% said financial burden would affect their consideration. Qualitative analysis of their subsequent comments identified 9 factors influential to parents when considering withdrawing life-sustaining therapies: quality of life, suffering, ineffective treatments, faith, time, financial considerations, general rejection of withdrawing life-sustaining therapies, mistrust/doubt toward physicians, and reliance on self/intuition.

CONCLUSION:

Parents describe a broad range of views regarding possible consideration of withdrawing life-sustaining therapies for their children and what factors might influence such a decision.

PMID:
19884588
PMCID:
PMC2873853
DOI:
10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.180
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center