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Attitudes and Opinions of Pediatric Physicians Regarding Decisions to Withdraw or Withhold Medically-Provided Hydration or Nutrition

  • Author / Creator
    Belletrutti, Mark J
  • Deciding to forego intravenous hydration (IH) and medically-provided nutrition (MPN) in pediatric patients remains controversial. Minimal published research exists that explores the attitudes and approaches of pediatricians who are making these decisions. This survey explored attitudes and opinions of pediatricians that influence decisions to forego IH & MPN in children. Sixty Canadian pediatricians responded amongst whom 49 had previous experience with foregoing IH & MPN. Respondents felt that IH & MPN were medical treatments, withdrawal was ethically permissible, and that these should be addressed separately from discussions about withdrawal of other life-sustaining therapies. Fewer respondents felt IH & MPN were ethically equivalent to other life-sustaining therapies. Most respondents felt greater discomfort withdrawing IH & MPN. Own emotional comfort was less influential in experienced pediatricians compared to pediatricians without experience. The approach of experienced pediatricians deserves further study to help refine current guidelines and education of new pediatricians who may face these issues.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R31Z42221
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • School of Public Health Sciences
  • Specialization
    • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Spady, Don (School of Public Health Sciences, Medical Sciences - Paediatrics)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Leier, Brendan (Department of Medicine)
    • Davies, Dawn (Medical Sciences - Paediatrics)
    • Byrne, Paul (Medical Sciences - Paediatrics)