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Perception of physicians of Intensive Care Units of the Clinicas Hospital Complex about orthothanasia

Opinião dos médicos das Unidades de Terapia Intensiva do Complexo Hospital das Clínicas sobre a ortotanásia

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Modern medicine lives a moment of searching for a sensible balance in the physician-patient relationship. As opposed to what was observed few years ago, when patients were, in the strict conception of the word, patients, that is, someone who obeys without questioning, today they are considered autonomous agents actively participating and deciding about themselves. At the same time, medicine has incorporated techniques, drugs and procedures which, by themselves, may keep the lives of patients almost indefinitely, even if lives are totally vegetative. This study aimed at evaluating the impact of the resolution CFM 1.805/2006 on the perception of physicians working in Intensive Care Units (ICU) of the Clinicas Hospital Complex METHOD: One hundred physicians of the ICUs of the Clinicas Hospital Complex were interviewed about their knowledge with regard to the provisions of the resolution CFM 1.805/2006, as well as their perception of orthothanasia. RESULTS: All respondents were favorable to orthothanasia; 67% considered the resolution ideal and 26% adequate, with just a minority of 7% considering it inadequate. From all interviewed physicians, 93% have already thought about putting it into practice. CONCLUSION: Most physicians were favorable to the practice of orthothanasia, principle which aims at decreasing the suffering of patients and relatives, provided the will of the person or of his legal representative is respected, duly justified and recorded in the medical records and that the patient continues to receive all necessary care to relief symptoms which lead to suffering, being assured integral assistance, physical, psychical, social and spiritual comfort, and the right to hospital discharge.

Death; Euthanasia; Orthothanasia; Terminal patient

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