Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Attitudes towards end-of-life issues amongst pediatricians in a tertiary hospital in a developing country

Publication year
Guglani, L.; Lodha, R.

To describe the perspectives of pediatricians from a tertiary care center from India on end-of-life (EOL) care issues, a standardized anonymous questionnaire was administered, which included questions regarding attitudes towards withdrawal/withholding of life-sustaining treatment in children and neonates at the EOL, and responses to an EOL case scenario. The questionnaire was administered to 40 pediatricians, of whom 31 (22 males, mean age 34.5 +/- 7.7 years) responded. None of the participants had ever instructed withdrawal of support. The most common modes of life-support limitation practiced were withholding new treatments (17/31; 54.8%) and ‘do-not-resuscitate orders’ (14/31; 45.2%). 51.6% respondents believed that withholding treatment and withdrawal of support were ethically the same. There is wide variation in responses and there were significant differences from findings of similar studies from the developed countries, the most important being the complete lack of use of withdrawal of support.

Research abstracts