Palestinian community perceptions of do-not-resuscitation order for terminally Ill patients: A qualitative study.

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Abstract

AIM AND OBJECTIVES

To illustrate the Palestinian community's views, opinions and stances about the concept of do-not-resuscitate for terminally ill patients.

BACKGROUND

Do-not-resuscitate orders are practised in many countries worldwide, but there is no consensus on their practice in the Middle East. Do-not-resuscitate orders may be applied for terminally ill paediatric patients. Some studies have been conducted describing people's experiences with these do-not-resuscitate orders. However, few studies have considered community perspectives on do-not-resuscitate orders for terminally ill patients in Palestine.

DESIGN

A descriptive-qualitative design was adopted.

METHODS

A purposive sample of 24 participants was interviewed, with consideration of demographical characteristics such as age, gender, education and place of residency. The participants were recruited over a period of 6 months. Individual semistructured interviews were utilised. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

FINDINGS

Significantly, the majority of the participants did not know the meaning of do-not-resuscitate and thought that removal of life-sustaining devices and do-not-resuscitate were the same concept. Most of the interviewees adopted stances against do-not-resuscitate orders. Several factors were suggested to influence the decision of accepting or rejecting the do-not-resuscitate order. The majority of the participants mentioned religion as a major factor in forming their viewpoints. The participants expressed different views regarding issuing a law regarding do-not-resuscitate orders.

CONCLUSION

Our findings provide a unique understanding that there is a general misunderstanding among our participants regarding the do-not-resuscitate order. Further research with policymakers and stakeholders is still required.

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