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Medicina Intensiva

versão impressa ISSN 0210-5691


BELLOC ROCASALBAS, M.  e  GIRBES, A.R.J.. End of life decisions, the Dutch form through Spanish eyes. Med. Intensiva [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.2, pp.102-106. ISSN 0210-5691.

Abroad, but also in The Netherlands, there are many misunderstandings concerning end of life decisions and euthanasia. In general, euthanasia does not play any role in the intensive care units, simply because it does not fulfill the conditions to carry it out. However, there is still confusion, merely due to the assumption that the Dutch situation is different because of their legislation on euthanasia. The use of the unclear terminology such as "passive euthanasia", "voluntary euthanasia" or "involuntary euthanasia" contributes to the confusion of lay people and physicians, and should therefore be avoided. End of life decisions in intensive care patients are in fact a structural part of work of intensivists. Collecting all necessary information including the wishes and will of the patient, medical expertise and acknowledging limitations of medical treatment will help to determine futility of treatment goals. Once it is determined that surviving the intensive care unit with a quality of life acceptable for the patient is beyond reach, the goal of treatment should be improved and the dying process optimized. Stopping a treatment modality at the request of a will-competent patient or because of futility is not euthanasia.

Palavras-chave : Euthanasia; The Netherlands; Intensive care; End-of-life decisions.

        · resumo em Espanhol     · texto em Espanhol     · Espanhol ( pdf )


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