Advance directives: Portuguese palliative care professionals' views.

Abstract

Advance directives are a controversial subject in Portugal at present, particularly among health professionals. Although some health professionals consider them to be important tools that are helpful in making proper decisions and promoting patient autonomy, others think that they may interfere with the human and relational dimension of care. It is therefore timely to investigate health professionals' views of advance directives in more detail. This study aimed to identify and reflect on Portuguese palliative care professionals' perspectives of advanced directives and their relevance to end-of-life decision making. A qualitative exploratory methodology was adopted in which interviews were conducted with two physicians, six nurses, two psychologists, and one social worker from four palliative care teams based across Portugal. The findings emphasize the relevance of advance directives to ethical decision-making processes in palliative care. However, debates are needed regarding whether advance directives should be legally binding.

Cite this paper

@article{Pereira2011AdvanceDP, title={Advance directives: Portuguese palliative care professionals' views.}, author={Sandra Martins Pereira and Em{\'i}lia Fradique and Renata Fialho and Manuela G. Cerqueira and Aurora Pereira and Florbela Sampaio}, journal={International journal of palliative nursing}, year={2011}, volume={17 8}, pages={373-80} }