Knowledge of the law about withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment by intensivists and other specialists

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, Cartwright, Colleen, Parker, Malcolm H. and Williams, Gail (2016) Knowledge of the law about withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment by intensivists and other specialists. Critical Care and Resuscitation, 18 2: 109-115.

Author White, Ben
Willmott, Lindy
Cartwright, Colleen
Parker, Malcolm H.
Williams, Gail
Title Knowledge of the law about withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment by intensivists and other specialists
Journal name Critical Care and Resuscitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1441-2772
Publication date 2016-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Start page 109
End page 115
Total pages 7
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
OBJECTIVE:
Decisions about withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment (WWLST) from adults who lack capacity are an integral part of intensive care (IC) practice. We compare the knowledge, attitudes and practice of intensivists in relation to the law about WWLST with six other specialties most often involved in end-of-life care.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:
We used a cross-sectional postal survey of medical specialists in the three most populous Australian states, and analysed responses from 867 medical specialists from the seven specialties most likely to be involved in WWLST decisions in the acute-care setting (emergency, geriatric, palliative, renal and respiratory medicine, medical oncology and IC).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Attitudes to, and knowledge and practice of, the law relating to end-of-life care.
RESULTS:
Of 2702 surveys sent to eligible practitioners, 867 completed questionnaires were returned. There was an overall response rate of 32% and an IC response rate also of 32% (125/388). Intensivists performed better than average in legal knowledge but important knowledge gaps remain. Intensivists had a more negative attitude to the role of law in this area than other specialty groups but reported being seen as a leading source of information about legal issues by other medical specialists and nurses. Intensivists also reported being the specialists most frequently making decisions about end-of-life treatment.
CONCLUSIONS:
Improved legal knowledge and open engagement with the law can help manage the risk of harm to patients and protect intensivists from liability. IC guidelines and continuing professional development are important strategies to address these issues.
Keyword Advance directives
Care units
Decision-making
External factors
End
Physicians
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Admin Only - School of Medicine
School of Public Health Publications
School of Medicine Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 17 Jul 2016, 00:18:15 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)