Family members' perspectives on potential discussions about life prolongation for their older relatives

Garnett, D., Vandrevala, T., Hampson, S., Daly, T. and Arber, S. (2008) Family members' perspectives on potential discussions about life prolongation for their older relatives. Mortality, 13(1), pp. 65-81. ISSN (print) 1357-6275

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Abstract

Family members (or health-care confidants) of incapacitated patients are often consultedby doctors when making life-prolongation decisions. Little research has beenconducted on confidants’ views on life prolongation and advance care planning. This study investigated the health-care confidant’s view on life prolongation and their involvement in being a potential decision-maker for their relatives in the event of incapacitation. Confidants (N¼12) were interviewed and interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The analysis revealed three themes relating to their perception of being a potential decision-maker for a relative’s life prolonging measures: ‘‘good’’ and ‘‘bad’’ death based on past experience and perceptions of quality of life, a sense that discussions were inappropriate at present, and strategies which might be used to encourage discussion. The implications of these findings for family involvement in life-prolongation decisions and how to encourage family discussions about life prolongation are discussed. KEYWORDS: life-prolonging treatments; proxy decision-making; family decision-making; advance care planning

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Psychology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Psychology, Criminology and Sociology (from November 2012)
Depositing User: Tushna Vandrevala
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2014 08:26
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2014 08:26
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13576270701783124
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/28605

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