End-of-Life Care in Muslim Brain-Dead Patients: A 10-Year Experience

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Abstract

Background:

In Muslim countries, end-of-life practices in Muslim brain-dead patients are unknown. We conducted this study to evaluate this issue.

Results:

We identified 42 brain-dead patients between 2001 and 2011. The expectant terminal extubation occurred only in 5. Largely due to family opposition, 2 patients remained “full code,” and rests were “do not attempt resuscitation” with varying usage of “life-sustaining” therapies. Only 2 out of 24 eligible patients donated organs. There was minimal involvement of social worker, palliative team, or Muslim chaplain in the end-of-life discussions.

Conclusion:

In Muslim patients, the concept of terminal withdrawal and organ donation after brain death is still not well accepted. Future multicenter studies, involving palliative teams, should focus on improving these issues.

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