Eimantas Peičius, Aurelija Blaževičienė, Raimundas Kaminskas
The concept of advance directives and their application in practice is still terra incognita in Lithuanian healthcare. Globally, the patient’s living will as a legal and ethical tool for end of life decision-making is considered one of the most important challenges for the future of healthcare. This article aims to reveal nurses‘ and physicians‘ preferences towards advance directives and their application in clinical practice. By employing the semi-structured standardized study method it was determined a minimum knowledge of advance directives among most of the respondents. It was also found that the greater majority of respondents expressed affirmation of this document into the clinic practice and acknowledged that its legalization would help sharing the moral responsibility between the health professional and the patient. It was also revealed that an increasing number of healthcare professionals preferred that the end of life issues discussion in advance with the patients would be ethically acceptable. These find outs of our study suggested us to believe respect for patient autonomy and protection of dignified dying process was regarded as truly important part of medical care in the end of life stage.
Keyword(s): advance directive; bioethics; ethical decision making in end of life; healthcare; health professionals.
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