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Evaluation of Informed Consent for Withholding and Withdrawal of Life Support in Korean Intensive Care Units

 Jin Ha Park  ;  Shin Ok Koh  ;  Jin Sun Cho  ;  Sungwon Na 
 Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine, Vol.30(2) : 73-81, 2015 
Journal Title
 Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine 
Issue Date
informed consent ; intensive care units ; life support care ; withholding treatment.
BACKGROUND: The goal of this study was to analyze the process and characteristics of withholding or withdrawal of life support (WLS) in Korean intensive care units (ICUs). METHODS: This was a single-centered retrospective analysis of patients who died in the ICUs of a tertiary hospital in Korea from January to December 2012. WLS informed consents and clinical data were analyzed. RESULTS: Of 285 deaths during the study period, informed consents for WLS were obtained from 228 patients (80.0%). All WLS decisions were made by family members after the patient's loss of decision-making capacity. Decisions were made most frequently by the patient's son (50.6%). Patients in the WLS group were older than those in the non-WLS group, and older age was associated with the WLS decision. Thirty-seven patients (16.2%) died within one hour of WLS approval, and 182 patients (79.8%) died on the day of WLS approval. The most frequently withheld life support modality was chest compression (100%), followed by defibrillation (95.9%) and pacemaker insertion (63.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Aggressive and invasive life support measures were those most frequently withheld or withdrawn by decision-makers in Korean ICUs. The most common proxy was the son, rather than the spouse.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine (마취통증의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Na, Sungwon(나성원) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1170-8042
Park, Jin Ha(박진하) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1398-3304
Cho, Jin Sun(조진선) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5408-4188
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