Integrating palliative care and intensive care: a spectrum of ethical issues

Sandra Martins Pereira, Carla M. Teixeira, Ana Sofia Carvalho, Pablo Hernández-Marrero

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

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Background: The integration of palliative care (PC) in intensive care (IC) can be framed ethically. By integrating the core principles of PC in IC, the ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice are fostered together with the ethical principles of dignity, integrity and vulnerability. Several organizational initiatives have been described worldwide on integration. Little is known on the ethical principles supporting this integration. Aims: To ethically frame and understand healthcare professionals’ perspectives about integrating PC and IC. Methods: A qualitative study, using in-depth interviews to collect data from healthcare professionals working in Portuguese PC and IC units. Data is being analysed using a thematic analysis approach. A snowball sampling procedure is being applied until reaching theoretical saturation. Up-to-date, 22 professionals (8 physicians and 14 nurses) across settings and cities were interviewed. Results: Participants understand the integration of PC in IC as a way of improving end of life care and end of life decision-making processes. In their speech, an early integration of PC is needed, particularly in other settings (e.g., medical and surgical) in order to prevent invasive interventions and admissions in IC units. This is linked to the application of the ethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence and justice into practice. Professionals also consider that the integration of PC in IC may foster patient autonomy, by allowing patients to be cared for and die in their place of preference, and integrity, through a holistic approach. Patients in IC are particularly vulnerable; integrating the principles of PC can protect them of any further harm. While professionals working in PC consider that integration should be promoted by implementing a mixed-organizational model, professionals from IC units defend an educational model, which should be promoted during medical specialty training as intensivists, PC being part of this education programme. Conclusions: This is the first study addressing the integration of PC in IC in Portugal, following an ethical frame. Professionals working in PC and IC seem to have different perspectives on how the integration model should be. Findings show the potential for a successful integration; more research is needed to develop an effective, sustainable and ethically sound integration model. Acknowledgments: Fundação Grünenthal and Fundação Merck, Sharp and Dohme.
Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (de-até)184-185
Número de páginas2
RevistaPalliative Medicine
Número de emissão1
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - mai. 2018
Evento10th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) - Bern
Duração: 24 mai. 201826 mai. 2018

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