Attitude of elderly patients towards cardiopulmonary resuscitation in Greece
Chalkias, Athanasios F.
Horopanitis, Evaggelos E.
Papadimitriou, Lila J.
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Aim: Although researchers in several countries have investigated patients' points of view regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation, there has been no research investigating this issue in Greece. The present study aimed at identifying the attitude of older Greek patients regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Methods: One basic questionnaire consisting of 34 questions was used in order to identify patients' opinions regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation in five different hospitals from June to November 2011. Results: In total, 300 questionnaires were collected. Although patients' knowledge regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation was poor, most of them would like to be resuscitated in case they suffered an in-hospital cardiac arrest. Also, they believe that they should have the right to accept or refuse treatment. However, the legal and sociocultural norms in Greece do not support patients' choice for the decision to refuse resuscitation. The influence of several factors, such as their general health status or the underlying pathology, could lead patients to give a "do not attempt resuscitation" order. Conclusions: The attitudes of older Greek patients regarding resuscitation are not different from others', whereas the legal and sociocultural norms in Greece do not support patient choice in end-of-life decisions, namely the decision to refuse resuscitation. We advocate the introduction of advanced directives, as well as the establishment and implementation of specific legislation regarding the ethics of resuscitation in Greece.