Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde vol:146 issue:49 pages:2374-7
Nowadays, cardiopulmonary resuscitation is not routinely discussed with all hospital patients, even though it should be for a number of reasons. First of all, every patient may suffer cardiac arrest, and the overall outcome of a subsequent attempt at resuscitation is difficult to predict. Besides, patients who do not wish to be resuscitated often do not tell that to the physician of their own accord. Patients should therefore be more actively informed and encouraged to express their own preferences. The routine discussion of possible resuscitation gives physicians the opportunity to discuss, determine and delimit the extent of the intended medical procedure. In the literature, communication problems in three different areas can be identified as a cause of the present situation. These are--for both physician and patient--inability, lack of insight and unwillingness to discuss resuscitation. Physicians should be aware of the identified communication problems and deal with them in a professional manner. An understanding of these problems forms the basis for a broader implementation of resuscitation discussions in hospitals.