BACKGROUND: Euthanasia can be thought of as being either active or passive; but the precise definition of "passive euthanasia" is not always clear. Though all passive euthanasia involves the withholding of life-sustaining treatment, there would appear to be some disagreement about whether all such withholding should be seen as passive euthanasia.
MAIN TEXT: At the core of the disagreement is the question of the importance of an intention to bring about death: must one intend to bring about the death of the patient in order for withholding treatment to count as passive euthanasia, as some sources would indicate, or does withholding in which death is merely foreseen belong to that category? We may expect that this unclarity would be important in medical practice, in law, and in policy. The idea that withholding life-sustaining treatment is passive euthanasia is traced to James Rachels's arguments, which lend themselves to the claim that passive euthanasia does not require intention to end life. Yet the argument here is that Rachels's arguments are flawed, and we have good reasons to think that intention is important in understanding the moral nature of actions. As such, we should reject any understanding of passive euthanasia that does not pay attention to intent.
SHORT CONCLUSION: James Rachels's work on active and passive euthanasia has been immensely influential; but this is an influence that we ought to resist.
BACKGROUND: First defined in 2002 by Catlin and Carter, neonatal palliative care (NPC) is a relatively new model of care in neonatal pediatrics, first appearing in the medical literature in the early 1980s.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to suggest a conceptual definition of NPC that encompasses all the essential concepts as a way of moving NPC forward by having a consistent approach.
METHODS: Following a review of the NPC literature, a thematic analysis as a method for identifying, analyzing, and interpreting patterns of meaning in the definitions ("themes") within the literature was undertaken.
FINDINGS: The major themes identified included philosophies of care, support, culture and spirituality, the team, and clinical management.
IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH: At the heart of NPC is the primacy of maintaining quality of life, while providing ethical and humane care that supports a "good death." The extensive elements presented in this article are considered essential to a comprehensive and conceptual definition of NPC proposed here.
BACKGROUND: The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) developed a consensus-based definition of palliative care (PC) that focuses on the relief of serious health related suffering, a concept put forward by the Lancet Commission Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief.
AIM: The objective of this paper is to present the research behind the new definition.
METHODS: The three-phased consensus process involved health care workers from countries in all income levels. In phase one, 38 PC experts evaluated the components of the World Health Organization (WHO) definition and suggested new/revised ones. In phase two, 412 IAHPC members in 88 countries expressed their level of agreement with the suggested components. In phase three, using results from phase two, the expert panel developed the definition.
RESULTS: The consensus-based definition is "Palliative care is the active holistic care of individuals across all ages with serious health-related suffering due to severe illness and especially of those near the end of life. It aims to improve the quality of life of patients, their families and their caregivers." The definition includes a number of bullet points with additional details as well as recommendations for governments to reduce barriers to palliative care.
CONCLUSIONS: Participants had significantly different perceptions and interpretations of PC. The greatest challenge faced by the core group was trying to find a middle ground between those who think that PC is the relief of all suffering, and those who believe that PC describes the care of those with a very limited remaining life span.
OBJECTIVE: To validate conceptual and operational definitions of Symptom control (1608) indicators for patients with cardiac diseases in palliative care.
METHOD: Definitions were established through a literature review and were validated by consensus among expert nurses. Two rounds of the Delphi method and a meeting with experts were carried out in order to validate the definitions for the indicators and for the magnitude of response for each indicator.
RESULTS: Conceptual and operational definitions for Symptom control (1608) indicators and for the magnitude of response for each indicator were validated.
CONCLUSIONS: All conceptual and operational definitions of 11 indicators of the nursing outcome Symptom control (1608) were validated by experts. Content and clinical validation studies remain necessary to verify the capacity of the indicators to measure the effectiveness of nursing interventions in clinical practice and research.
OPINION STATEMENT: Palliative care has evolved over the decades from its roots in the hospice movement to a much wider approach in which early intervention further "upstream" in the illness is encouraged to improve quality of life for patients and their families. This new definition has a strong evidence base in cancer trials and is supported by major national and international organizations. However, it has proven difficult to convince patients, the public, and even healthcare providers, of this upstream migration of palliative care, with many continuing to associate palliative care exclusively with end-of-life care. A multitude of definitions now exists, with varying emphasis on early intervention versus end-of-life care. In addition, a new nomenclature has emerged to conceal the end-of-life component of palliative care despite its continued importance, adding further to the confusion. Uncertainty within the specialty about the definition of palliative care will not reassure referring physicians and policymakers about its meaning nor convince them of its importance. Accuracy and clarity in the form of an established definition of palliative care are required to reduce misconceptions, facilitate clinical and academic development, and promote effective communication. This definition should acknowledge both expertise in end-of-life care and its relevance for improving outcomes early in the course of advanced cancer, and should be disseminated widely and practiced consistently.
Ce chapitre est l'une des contributions de conférenciers intervenus lors d'une journée d'études de l'Ecole de Propédeutique à la Connaissance de l'Inconscient intitulée "Deuil et séparation". L'auteure est intervenue sur le deuil blanc d'une personne atteinte de la maladie d'Alzheimer. Elle définit ce qu'est le deuil blanc, ses répercurssions psychiques tant chez le malade que chez ses proches aidants.
According to international scientific medical consensus, death is a biological, unidirectional, ontological state of an organism, the event that separates the process of dying from the process of disintegration. Death is not merely a social contrivance or a normative concept; it is a scientific reality. Using this paradigm, the international consensus is that, regardless of context, death is operationally defined as “the permanent loss of the capacity for consciousness and all brainstem function. This may result from permanent cessation of circulation or catastrophic brain injury. In the context of death determination, ‘permanent’ refers to loss of function that cannot resume spontaneously and will not be restored through intervention.” The word “permanent” replaces “irreversible” (used in the United States’ 1980 Uniform Declaration of Death Act) in this new definition, arguably invented to allow donation after circulatory determination of death (DCDD) while still complying with the dead donor rule. I will show that this invention fails, for at least four reasons.
When The Ad Hoc Committee of Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death began meeting in 1967, I was a graduate student, with committee member Ralph Potter and committee chair Henry Beecher as my mentors. The question of when to stop life support on a severely compromised patient was not clearly differentiated from the question of when someone was dead. A serious clinical problem arose when physicians realized that a patient's condition was hopeless but life support perpetuated body function. Thus, the committee stated that its first purpose was to deal with the burdens on patients and families as well as on hospitals and on patients needing hospital beds occupied by comatose patients. They intuited the strategy of "defining" these patients as dead, thus legitimating treatment stoppage. They noted that this would also serve a second purpose. Although the dead donor rule had not yet been clearly articulated, they claimed that defining patients as dead would also address controversy over obtaining organs for transplant. My mentors' discussions related to my interest in the intersection between questions primarily of medical fact (When has a human brain irreversibly ceased functioning?) and nonmedical questions of social policy (Should we treat individuals with dead brains and beating hearts as dead humans?). It quickly became clear that most committee members did not appreciate the interplay of these questions.
At its inception, "brain death" was proposed not as a coherent concept but as a useful one. The 1968 Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death gave no reason that "irreversible coma" should be death itself, but simply asserted that the time had come for it to be declared so. Subsequent writings by chairman Henry Beecher made clear that, to him at least, death was essentially a social construct, and society could define it however it pleased. The first widely endorsed attempt at a philosophical justification appeared thirteen years later, with a report from the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research and a seminal paper by James Bernat, Charles Culver, and Bernard Gert, which introduced the insightful tripartite scheme of concept, criterion, and tests for death. Their paper proposed that the correct concept of death is the "permanent cessation of functioning of the organism as a whole," which tenuously remains the mainstream concept to this day. In this essay, I focus on this mainstream concept, arguing that equating brain death with death involves several levels of incoherence: between concept and criterion, between criterion and tests, between tests and concept, and between all of these and actual brain death praxis.
Five decades ago, Henry Knowles Beecher, a renowned professor of research anesthesiology, sought to solve a problem created by modern medicine. The solution proposed by Beecher and his colleagues on the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death proved very influential.1 Indeed, other contemporaneous medical developments magnified its significance yet also made the solution it offered somewhat problematic. As we mark this fiftieth anniversary, at a time when concerns about the conceptual model on which its recommendations rested are being voiced by critics from medicine as well as philosophy, it is worthwhile to view the committee's report in relation to the problem that prompted its existence as well as the one to which it was quickly applied.
This special report is published in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the "Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death," a landmark document that proposed a new way to define death, with implications that advanced the field of organ transplantation. This remarkable success notwithstanding, the concept has raised lasting questions about what it means to be dead. Is death defined in terms of the biological failure of the organism to maintain integrated functioning? Can death be declared on the basis of severe neurological injury even when biological functions remain intact? Is death essentially a social construct that can be defined in different ways, based on human judgment? These issues, and more, are discussed and debated in this report by leading experts in the field, many of whom have been engaged with this topic for decades.
Kennedy terminal ulcers, a subset of pressure injuries, are associated with the dying process. This scoping review aimed to identify and map the published literature on Kennedy terminal ulcers in terms of its definition, prevalence, assessment, treatment, management, health care costs, and quality of life for patients in all health care settings. Using the Arksey and O’Malley scoping review framework, we systematically searched the Cochrane Library, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and ProQuest databases and 5 guideline repositories between 1983 and 2018. The following search terms were used: Kennedy ulcers, Kennedy terminal ulcers, terminal ulcer, skin failure, and Skin Changes at Life’s End. Data were extracted using a purposely developed data collection tool. Initial searches yielded 2997 sources, with 32 included in this review. Most Kennedy terminal ulcer literature was published by nurses in the United States. Kennedy terminal ulcer prevalence data are limited, with no validated assessment tools available. Kennedy terminal ulcers may be misclassified as pressure injuries, potentially resulting in financial penalties to the institution. This scoping review revealed significant knowledge and clinical practice gaps in patient assessment, management, and treatment of Kennedy terminal ulcers. Timely patient education may help them to make informed care and quality end-of-life decisions. Further research is needed to inform clinical practice to improve patient care.
Palliative Care and its medical subspecialty, known as Palliative Medicine, is the care of anyone with a serious illness. This emerging field includes Hospice and comfort care, however, it is not limited to end-of-life care. Examples of the types of serious illness that Palliative Medicine clinicians care for include and are not limited to hematologic and oncologic diseases, such as cancer, advanced heart and lung diseases (e.g., congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), advanced liver and kidney diseases, and advanced neurologic illnesses (e.g., Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease). In the past decade, there has been tremendous growth of Palliative Medicine programs across the country. As the population of patients with serious illnesses increases, there is growing concentration on quality of care, including symptom management, meeting patients' goals regarding their medical care and providing various types of support, all of which are provided by Palliative Medicine. In this review article we define Palliative Medicine, describe care pathways and their applicability to Palliative Medicine, identify different models for Palliative Care and provide evidence for its impact on cost and quality of care.
Cet article est une mise au point sur la mort inattendue du nourrisson, qui malgré une forte baisse, reste la 1ère cause de décès au-delà de la période néonatale, justifiant de renforcer les mesures de prévention et d'en comprendre la cause. (Adapté du R.A.).
Origine : BDSP. Notice produite par APHPDOC ltR0xAqF. Diffusion soumise à autorisation
BACKGROUND: Episodic dyspnea is an increasingly recognized phenomenon that occurs frequently in patients with cancer. Although numerous definitions have been proposed to describe episodic dyspnea, to date, no common widely accepted definition in Spanish has yet emerged. Without a clear well-accepted definition, it is difficult to design rigorous clinical trials to evaluate candidate treatments for this emerging entity and to compare outcomes among studies.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to reach a consensus definition of episodic dyspnea in the Spanish language based on professional criteria in cancer patients.
DESIGN: A two-round Delphi study.
SETTING/SUBJECTS: Sixty-one Spanish specialists in medical oncology, radiation oncology, pneumology, palliative care, and pain management participated in the study.
MEASUREMENTS: Sixteen different questions on dyspnea-related terminology, including the definition of episodic dyspnea, were assessed.
RESULTS: The panel of experts reached a consensus on 75% of the 16 assessments proposed: 56.25% in agreement and 18.75% in disagreement. The term that most panelists considered most appropriate to define dyspnea exacerbation was dyspnea crisis. The panelists disagreed that dyspnea exacerbation is equivalent to dyspnea at effort and that the presence of dyspnea at rest is required for exacerbation to occur. However, there was wide agreement that exacerbation may or may not be predictable and can be triggered by comorbidities as well as emotional, environmental, or effort factors.
CONCLUSIONS: The broad consensus reached in this study is a necessary first step to design high-quality methodological studies to better understand episodic dyspnea and improve treatment.
Psychiatry today is mainly practised within a curative framework. However, many mental disorders are persistent and negatively affect quality of life as well as life expectancy. This tension between treatment goals and the actual illness trajectory has evoked a growing academic interest in 'palliative psychiatry', namely the application of a palliative care approach in patients with severe persistent mental illness. Recently, Trachsel et al presented a working definition of palliative psychiatry. This first official attempt to capture the concept is based on WHO's widely accepted definition of palliative care but modified and limited to include only severe persistent psychiatric illness. While this is a welcome step in the discussion on palliative care approaches in psychiatry, it also opens up for new questions. One of the most evident is whether psychiatry actually needs its own definition of palliative care or, put differently, whether there is something about mental disorders that differs so radically from other medical conditions that it calls for a separate definition. We acknowledge the need to discuss the goals of psychiatric care in patients with severe persistent psychiatric illness. However, we question whether a separate definition of palliative care exclusive to psychiatry is the right way to go. In this paper, we discuss why.
Les infirmiers répondent aux exigences universitaires et sont amenés à justifier des pratiques professionnelles pertinentes. Les soignants (cadres, étudiants, aides, auxiliaires…) sont tous concernés par l’ensemble des définitions en relation d’aide pour argumenter l’impact du "Prendre soin”. Les pratiques infirmières ne cessent d’évoluer. Il convient également de prendre en compte sa dimension humaine pour analyser des savoirs en action, pour accompagner les personnes soignées vers une relation soignant-soigné, de nature interdisciplinaire.
Cette quatrième édition est enrichie par des concepts inhérents à la profession infirmière (Médiation en santé, infirmières de nuit, savoirs informels, Sédation en fin de vie...). L’approche de cet ouvrage demeure centrée sur la personne. Sa vocation humaniste repose, entre autres, sur les théories de Carl Rogers (Empathie, écoute active, non jugement…) et propose une vision relative aux sciences humaines (éducation, psychologie, sociologie…) . Des spécialistes ont contribué à définir plusieurs entrées (Anne Muller, Anne Perraut-Solivères, Michel Nadot, Christophe Debout, Régis Aubry, Robert Masson...). Ce recueil de concepts professionnels est utile dès le premier semestre de la formation initiale, de l’analyse de pratiques jusqu’au mémoire de fin d’études.
Outil aidant, ce dictionnaire sera tout aussi utile au personnel soignant qui pourra y puiser du sens, participer à des projets de recherche...
Human dignity (HD) in patient care is an important concept in clinical ethics that has various definitions in existing literature. This study aimed at analyzing the concept of HD in patient care. To this end, Rodgers' evolutionary concept analysis was used. For this purpose, scientific databases PubMed, Elsevier, ScienceDirect, Scopus, OVID, Web of Science, CINHAL, IRANDOC, Google Scholar, Magiran, SID and IranMedex were searched fusing the words "human dignity", "patient care" and "ethics". The main criterion for inclusion in the final analysis was the literature published in English and Persian from 2006 to 2016 in online scientific journals within the context of health care disciplines. Ultimately, 21 articles were selected for the study. The attributes of the concept under study were identified in two areas of individual HD and social HD. Antecedents included facilitators and threats, and the consequences consisted of both favorable and unfavorable consequences. HD forms the essence of patient care and is a value-based and humanistic concept based on respect for the integrity of human beings and their beliefs. This concept, with its holistic approach to humans, takes into account all stages of disease, old age and the end of life period. HD in patient care is influenced by cultural, social, spiritual and religious factors, and with its justice-based approach emphasizes equality of all patients and extends patient care to all areas of society rather than restricting it to hospital settings. In this study, a clear definition of HD is introduced.