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Family and Physicians' Views of Surrogate Decision-Making: The Roles and How to Choose

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2005

Michel Silberfeld
Affiliation:
Competency Clinic, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, North York, Ontario, Canada Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Rivka Grundstein-Amado
Affiliation:
Competency Clinic, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, North York, Ontario, Canada
Derek Stephens
Affiliation:
Competency Clinic, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, North York, Ontario, Canada
Raisa Deber
Affiliation:
Department of Health Administration, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract

Physicians and family members were compared on the roles played in surrogate decision-making and their views as to how choices should be made by surrogate decision-makers. Thirty-six family members of patients with Alzheimer's disease, 35 family members of patients with schizophrenia, and 34 physicians from a diversity of specialties were the respondents. There was general agreement that shared decision-making was preferred. Physicians seem to make surrogate decisions in accordance with contemporary views about their roles. Families believed they had a strong subjective appreciation of the patient's overall good. The burden of decision-making was geater for families, but that depended to some degree on the diagnosis of the patient.

Type
Studies on Cognition and Dementia
Copyright
© 1996 International Psychogeriatric Association

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