2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/151654
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Hospice Workers’ Attitudes Towards Voluntary Refusal of Food and Fluids
Abstract:
Hospice Workers’ Attitudes Towards Voluntary Refusal of Food and Fluids
Conference Sponsor:Sigma Theta Tau International
Conference Year:2004
Conference Date:July 22-24, 2004
Author:Harvath, Theresa A., PhD, RN, CNS
P.I. Institution Name:Oregon Health & Science University, School of Nursing
Title:Associate Professor, Co-Director, Best Practices Initiative, OHSU John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence
Objective: One of the alternatives to physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is for patients to voluntarily refuse all food and fluids (VRFF). This paper describes the attitudes of hospice nurses and social workers towards VRFF and compares these to their attitudes towards PAS. Design: Cross-sectional mailed survey of all hospice nurses and social workers in Oregon. Population, Sample, Setting, Years: Of the 545 eligible respondents, 397 (73%) returned the survey. The sample ranged in age from 23 to 88 years (M=49.25, s.d.=9.18), were primarily female (90.7%) and worked in hospice for an average of 6.8 (s.d.=5.25) years. Concepts or Variables: The questionnaire measured demographic variables, attitudes towards and comfort with discussion of PAS and VRFF. Method: Categorical variables were compared using Chi-Square; continuous variables were compared using Student’s t-test. Relationships among variables and scales were explored using bivariate correlations. Findings: Only 2.6% stated that they thought VRFF was immoral or unethical. More than three-quarters thought that VRFF should be an option if patients are experiencing physical, psychological or spiritual suffering. Most (95.4%) would continue to care for a patient who chose to hasten their death through VRFF. Hospice workers reported a more supportive attitude towards VRFF than PAS and expressed greater comfort in discussing VRFF with patients and colleagues than PAS. Although we found a significant difference between nurses’ and social workers’ attitudes toward PAS, there were no statistically significant differences in their attitudes toward VRFF. Conclusions: While many nurses and social workers believe that PAS is immoral or unethical, they are more accepting of patients hastening death by refusing food and fluids. Implications: Although many hospice organizations have clear guidelines regarding assisted suicide, they may be less well-prepared to address the ethical dilemmas involving alternatives to assisted suicide.
Repository Posting Date:
26-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
22-Jul-2004
Sponsors:
Sigma Theta Tau International

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleHospice Workers’ Attitudes Towards Voluntary Refusal of Food and Fluidsen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/151654-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Hospice Workers&rsquo; Attitudes Towards Voluntary Refusal of Food and Fluids</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Sigma Theta Tau International</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">2004</td></tr><tr class="item-conference-date"><td class="label">Conference Date:</td><td class="value">July 22-24, 2004</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Harvath, Theresa A., PhD, RN, CNS</td></tr><tr class="item-institute"><td class="label">P.I. Institution Name:</td><td class="value">Oregon Health &amp; Science University, School of Nursing</td></tr><tr class="item-author-title"><td class="label">Title:</td><td class="value">Associate Professor, Co-Director, Best Practices Initiative, OHSU John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence</td></tr><tr class="item-email"><td class="label">Email:</td><td class="value">harvatht@ohsu.edu</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">Objective: One of the alternatives to physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is for patients to voluntarily refuse all food and fluids (VRFF). This paper describes the attitudes of hospice nurses and social workers towards VRFF and compares these to their attitudes towards PAS. Design: Cross-sectional mailed survey of all hospice nurses and social workers in Oregon. Population, Sample, Setting, Years: Of the 545 eligible respondents, 397 (73%) returned the survey. The sample ranged in age from 23 to 88 years (M=49.25, s.d.=9.18), were primarily female (90.7%) and worked in hospice for an average of 6.8 (s.d.=5.25) years. Concepts or Variables: The questionnaire measured demographic variables, attitudes towards and comfort with discussion of PAS and VRFF. Method: Categorical variables were compared using Chi-Square; continuous variables were compared using Student&rsquo;s t-test. Relationships among variables and scales were explored using bivariate correlations. Findings: Only 2.6% stated that they thought VRFF was immoral or unethical. More than three-quarters thought that VRFF should be an option if patients are experiencing physical, psychological or spiritual suffering. Most (95.4%) would continue to care for a patient who chose to hasten their death through VRFF. Hospice workers reported a more supportive attitude towards VRFF than PAS and expressed greater comfort in discussing VRFF with patients and colleagues than PAS. Although we found a significant difference between nurses&rsquo; and social workers&rsquo; attitudes toward PAS, there were no statistically significant differences in their attitudes toward VRFF. Conclusions: While many nurses and social workers believe that PAS is immoral or unethical, they are more accepting of patients hastening death by refusing food and fluids. Implications: Although many hospice organizations have clear guidelines regarding assisted suicide, they may be less well-prepared to address the ethical dilemmas involving alternatives to assisted suicide.</td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-26T11:09:16Z-
dc.date.issued2004-07-22en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-26T11:09:16Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipSigma Theta Tau Internationalen_GB
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