Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem
Print version ISSN 0104-1169
MENEZES, Milene Barcellos de; SELLI, Lucilda and ALVES, Joseane de Souza. Dysthanasia: nursing professionals' perception. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.4, pp. 443-448. ISSN 0104-1169. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-11692009000400002.
Dysthanasia means slow and painful death without quality of life. This study aimed to know whether nurses identify dysthanasia as part of the final process of the lives of terminal patients hospitalized at an adult ICU. This is an exploratory-qualitative study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with ten nurses with at least one year of experience in an ICU, and interpreted through content analysis. Results indicate that nurses understand and identify dysthanasia, do not agree with it and recognize elements of orthonasia as the adequate procedure for terminal patients. We conclude that nurses interpret dysthanasia as extending life with pain and suffering, while terminal patients are submitted to futile treatments that do not benefit them. They also identify dysthanasia using elements of orthonasia to explain it.
Keywords : terminally ill; euthanasia; nursing; bioethics.