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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


HERNANDEZ-BELLO, Estela  y  GASCH-GALLEN, Ángel. Ethical issues in the clinical records of a group of terminal patients admitted into a third level hospital. Lacks and improvements. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2020, vol.94, 202005030.  Epub 02-Nov-2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


Terminal patients and their relatives must know their real situation, and be treated according to the principle of autonomy, to establish therapeutic objectives adapted each one, according to their needs and decisions. The objective of this study is to identify the sufficient existence of records in the Medical Histories of terminal patients, which indicate their situation, such as the information given to the patients, or the LET, No-RCP or Z.51.5 codes, and the statistical relation they have with the sociodemographic and clinical variables.


Cross-sectional study in a third-level hospital, with patients admitted between January and December 2017, who died with terminal illness criteria. Data were collected from the medical records, and, fundamentally, from the nursing clinical notes. The statistical analysis was performed with the SPSS program, version 22.


Participants were 140 people, 54.3% men, of 78.51 (SD=13.5) of middle age. People up to 70 years of age received less information (Odds ratio (OR): 0.077, 95% Confidence interval (CI): 0.015-0.390) and lower sedation (OR: 0.366, 95% CI: 0.149-0.899). Proceeding from city reduced the probability of receiving information (OR: 0.202; IC95%: 0.058-0.705). Presenting dyspnea reduced LTE (OR: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.20-093), No CPR (0.29, 95% CI: 0.12-0.68) and sedation (OR: 0.27; 95% CI: 0.12-060). Fatigue increased the probability of being Non-CPR (OR: 2.77, 95% CI: 1.166-6.627) and of receiving sedation (OR: 2.6, 95% CI: 1.065-6.331).


Efforts to empower the patient in the decision of their process and the management of the information of their diagnosis and prognosis are still lacking. A greater and better clinical records facilitates knowing how actions are developed, allowing to identify and implement ethical and responsible interventions.

Palabras clave : Palliative Care; Chronic disease; Decision making; Bioethics; Personal Autonomy; Advance directives.

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