2017, Number 4
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ABSTRACTBackground: There are no research papers up to date on the knowledge people have about end-of-life terms. Thoughts about death are often avoided, thus, preparation for that moment is null. When receiving a terminal diagnosis, the patients, as well as their families, go through a situation of loss of control and distress which it does not allow a proper and serene opportunity for an adequate decision-making regarding the optimal treatments for the control of the pain, suffering, anxiety and depression. Objective: To test a survey which can help us know if the population grasps terms such as euthanasia, palliative care, therapeutic obstinacy, advanced directive and abandonment of the patient, and to improve it. Method: Preliminary exploratory study using a pilot survey in a sample in Mexico City (n = 89), analyzed by a χ2. Results: Age, gender or level of education were independent of what they think about palliative care, therapeutic obstinacy, and early will. Most of the participants (61%) believe that life of the terminal patient should be kept alive at all costs; they understand and accept the advanced directive. Age has an inverse and positive correlation with the acceptance of euthanasia: the younger the age, the more they accept it. From the total sample, 57% agreed on it and according to age, prefer to die than to live without quality of life. Conclusions: It is necessary to dig deeper into what people know about end-of-life terms, to make it easier for them to choose an ethical option that truly favors the patient’s well-being in his or her last days.
Cfr. Un tratamiento fútil “hace referencia a un procedimiento médico que no merece la pena instaurarse, es decir, es aquel que es indicado, sabiendo que ya no posee ninguna ventaja terapéutica. Mendoza del Solar G. El concepto de futilidad en la práctica médica. Rev Soc Peru Med Interna. 2008; 21 (1): 26-35.