Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Huang and colleagues provide some intriguing insights into the attitudes about end of life care of practising Taiwanese neonatal doctors and nurses.1 There are some similarities with surveys from other parts of the world. Most Taiwanese neonatologists and nurses agreed that it was potentially appropriate to withhold or limit treatment for infants who were dying. A very high proportion was opposed to active euthanasia of such infants. But there were also some striking differences. Only 21% of Taiwanese doctors ‘agreed’ with withdrawal of mechanical ventilation for dying newborn infants. This proportion is lower than reported in any European country.2 More than 90% of neonatologists surveyed in the UK, the USA, The Netherlands and Sweden found withdrawal of mechanical ventilation acceptable.2 ,3 Taiwanese doctors also seemed reluctant to give analgesia or sedatives to such infants, with almost 60% disagreeing with their use in dying infants where there was a risk of hastening death.1 In contrast, two-thirds or more of European neonatologists thought this was acceptable (and in several countries this rate was again above 90%).2
The results of the survey of Huang et al highlight three beliefs about end-of-life care that are widespread, but all of which are seriously mistaken1. None are new, but …
Contributors DW is the sole author.
Funding This work was supported by an early career fellowship from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council .
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- The attitudes of neonatal professionals towards end-of-life decision-making for dying infants in Taiwan
- End-of-life decision-making for newborns: a 12-year experience in Hong Kong
- The impact of regional culture on intensive care end of life decision making: an Israeli perspective from the ETHICUS study
- Short-term outcome of treatment limitation discussions for newborn infants, a multicentre prospective observational cohort study
- Withholding and withdrawing life support in critical care settings: ethical issues concerning consent
- The role of the principle of double effect in ethics education at US medical schools and its potential impact on pain management at the end of life
- End of life decision-making in neonatal care
- End-of-life decision making in Taiwan: healthcare practice is rooted in local culture and laws that should be adjusted to patients' best interests
- Do Not Resuscitate orders and ethical decisions in a neonatal intensive care unit in a Muslim community
- The agony of agonal respiration: is the last gasp necessary?