How do clinicians practice the principles of beneficence when deciding to allow or deny family presence during resuscitation?

Tracey Giles, Sheryl de Lacey, Eimear Muir-Cochrane

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aims and Objectives: To examine how clinicians practise the principles of beneficence when deciding to allow or deny family presence during resuscitation. Background: Family presence during resuscitation has important benefits for family and is supported by professional bodies and the public. Yet, many clinicians restrict family access to patients during resuscitation, and rationales for decision-making are unclear. Design: Secondary analysis of an existing qualitative data set using deductive category application of content analysis. Methods: We analysed 20 interview transcripts from 15 registered nurses, two doctors and three paramedics who had experienced family presence during resuscitation in an Australian hospital. The transcripts were analysed for incidents of beneficent decision-making when allowing or denying family presence during resuscitation. Results: Decision-making around family presence during resuscitation occurred in time poor environments and in the absence of local institutional guidelines. Clinicians appeared to be motivated by doing “what's best” for patients and families when allowing or denying family presence during resuscitation. However, their individual interpretations of “what's best” was subjective and did not always coincide with family preferences or with current evidence that promotes family presence during resuscitation as beneficial. Conclusions: The decision to allow or deny family presence during resuscitation is complex, and often impacted by personal preferences and beliefs, setting norms and tensions between clinicians and consumers. As a result, many families are missing the chance to be with their loved ones at the end of life. The introduction of institutional guidelines and policies would help to establish what safe and effective practice consists of, reduce value-laden decision-making and guide beneficent decision-making. Relevance to Clinical Practice: These findings highlight current deficits in decision-making around FPDR and could prompt the introduction of clinical guidelines and policies and in turn promote the equitable provision of safe, effective family-centred care during resuscitation events.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e1214-e1214
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
    Volume27
    Issue number5-6
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018

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