Family decision making in foregoing life-extending treatments

Virginia Tilden, Susan Tolle, Christine A. Nelson, Maye Thompson, Susan C. Eggman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Families generally serve as surrogate decision makers for hospitalized dying patients who are unable to express their own decisions regarding life-prolonging treatments. The authors interviewed family members whose relatives died in the hospital following the withdrawal of aggressive medical treatments. Interviews were at two time periods: at 1 and 6 months post-patient death. Study data indicated a core set of phases which family members experienced in the process of arriving at the decision to withdraw treatment: recognition of futility, coming to terms, shouldering the surrogate role, and facing the question. At 6 months post decision, families reflected on the need for corroborating evidence that they had made the right decision, which the authors term seeking a triangulation of certainty. Advance directives and forthright communication from clinicians were two factors that most helped family members feel more positive about events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-442
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Volume5
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

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Decision Making
Therapeutics
Medical Futility
Advance Directives
Communication
Interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Family Practice

Cite this

Tilden, V., Tolle, S., Nelson, C. A., Thompson, M., & Eggman, S. C. (1999). Family decision making in foregoing life-extending treatments. Journal of Family Nursing, 5(4), 426-442.

Family decision making in foregoing life-extending treatments. / Tilden, Virginia; Tolle, Susan; Nelson, Christine A.; Thompson, Maye; Eggman, Susan C.

In: Journal of Family Nursing, Vol. 5, No. 4, 1999, p. 426-442.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tilden, V, Tolle, S, Nelson, CA, Thompson, M & Eggman, SC 1999, 'Family decision making in foregoing life-extending treatments', Journal of Family Nursing, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 426-442.
Tilden, Virginia ; Tolle, Susan ; Nelson, Christine A. ; Thompson, Maye ; Eggman, Susan C. / Family decision making in foregoing life-extending treatments. In: Journal of Family Nursing. 1999 ; Vol. 5, No. 4. pp. 426-442.
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