Of acute-care doctors and nurses responding to a national survey, 62% said that clinically hopeless patients have a “dignified death” in the hospital only “sometimes.” Another 33% said that this scenario occurs “frequently,” and just 5% said “always.”
Of acute-care doctors and nurses responding to a national survey, 62% said that clinically hopeless patients have a dignified death in the hospital only sometimes. Another 33% said that this scenario occurs frequently, and just 5% said always.
The poll was conducted in July 1997 among chief doctors and nurses in hospital acute-care units nationwide by Dignified Death Update, a monthly newsletter for health-care professionals.
Other survey results included the following:
Survey Reflects Prevailing Opinion
The survey did not obtain a strict random sample and, thus, indicates the general direction of professional thought rather than an exact quantitation of it, said newsletter publisher, Leslie C. Norms, md, PhD. However, he added that because there were 362 responses from both large and small hospitals, because these facilities were spread across the country, and because both physician and nurse chiefs-of-units responded, he was confident that the survey had accurately captured current prevailing opinion in hospitals.