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Discrepancies among patients, family members, and physicians in Korea in terms of values regarding the withholding of treatment from patients with terminal malignancies

Cited 58 time in Web of Science Cited 57 time in Scopus
Authors
Oh, Do‐Youn; Kim, Jee‐Eun; Lee, Chee‐Hun; Lim, Jae‐Sung; Jung, Kyung‐Hye; Heo, Dae Seog; Bang, Yung‐Jue; Kim, Noe Kyeong
Issue Date
2004-05
Citation
Cancer, Vol.100 No.9, pp.1961-1966
Keywords
feeding tubefutilityintravenous nutritionopioid analgesicswithholding treatmentterminal malignancy
Abstract
BACKGROUND. The role of the physician in end-of-life decision-making is complicated. To analyze the controversies that surround therapeutic decision-making and the withholding of life-sustaining treatments, the authors compared values regarding therapeutic intervention that were held by physicians and family members of patients with terminal malignancies. METHODS. One hundred fourteen patients with either advanced-stage or terminal disease were enrolled in the current study. Questionnaires were administered to the duty physician and to patients' family members. The questions covered issues such as the use of new anticancer agents with only partial efficacy (15%) and the use of opioid analgesics, intravenous nutrition, feeding tubes, antibiotics, and hemodialysis. in addition, participants were asked about the administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of ventilators, and when the patient's family consented, the same questionnaire was administered to the patient as well. RESULTS. Seventeen of 114 families refused to answer the questionnaire. Of the 97 available families, only 14 permitted access to the patient. Of those 14 patients, 5 refused to complete the questionnaire. Overall, 100% of families and 87% of patients had some knowledge regarding malignant disease, but only 69% of families and 37% of patients clearly understood the stage of the patient's disease. The use of a new agent with only partial efficacy (approximate to 15%) was accepted by 41% of physicians and by 60% of families. The concordance rate between patients' physicians and family members regarding the same patient was 42%. The rankings of the acceptance of treatment by physicians were as follows: opioid analgesics, 100%; antibiotics, 91%; feeding tube, 87%; and intravenous nutrition, 78%. The rankings of the same items by family members were as follows: opioid analgesics, 92%; antibiotics, 89%; intravenous nutrition, 86%; and feeding tube, 75%. The concordance rates between patients' physicians and families were lowest for ventilator application (39%) and CPR (47%). CONCLUSIONS. Values held on issues such as therapeutic decision-making and the withholding of life-sustaining treatment for patients with terminal malignancies were discordant between physicians and family members. To resolve controversies regarding the role of the physician in end-of-life decision-making, the values of physicians, patients, and family members should be considered in the final decision-making process.
ISSN
0008-543X
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/173011
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.20184
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Internal Medicine (내과학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_내과학전공)
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