Physician perceptions and knowledge about limiting life support
Abstract This qualitative, descriptive study identified perceptions and knowledge of intensive care unit physicians about limiting life support. Results revealed different understandings and reasons for limiting life support: shared and isolated decision-making; obstacles such as family, professionals, legal issues and unpredictability of death; and specific case reports with benefits, dilemmas, and specificities by clinical picture and age group. Physicians agree on the need to limit life support but lack training on the topic and differences in understanding remain. The multiple reasons for its use and difficulties in decision-making and definition of conduct are permeated by ethical, cultural and personal conflicts, demonstrating the need for better education on the theme at different levels of health professional training.