Seminar: Communication pathologies in do-not-resuscitate discussions at the end of life

Tuesday the 12th of July, 2016, 3:30pm.

Room 3.1.1, East Wing King’s Building, King’s College London.

Communication Pathologies in Do-Not-Resuscitate Discussions at the End of Life: The Unintended Consequences of an Ideology of Patient Choice

Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Dzeng

The focus on patient autonomy in American medicine today highlights the importance of freedom and choice for patients make their own decisions. However, to truly honor patient autonomy, patients must adequately understand their situation and choices. Fifty-eight semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with internal medicine physicians at three hospitals in the US and one in the UK. I observed that two hospitals had policies that prioritized patient autonomy whereas the other two hospitals had policies that prioritized making decisions in the patient’s best interest. Particularly at hospitals where autonomy was prioritized, trainee physicians equated autonomy with giving a menu of choices. They were uncomfortable giving a recommendation based on clinical knowledge as they worried that that would infringe patient autonomy.

Bio: Liz is Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Division of Hospital Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology program. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the King’s College London Cicely Saunders Institute. She completed her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of Cambridge at King’s College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a General Internal Medicine Post-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow and Palliative Care Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.



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