A study to determine the association between medical decision-making and the performance of an institutional ethics committee
This study developed proxy measures to test the independent effects of medical specialty, institutional ethics committee (IEC) and the interaction between the two, upon a proxy for the dependent variable of the medical decision to withhold/withdraw care for the dying--the resuscitation index (R-index). Five clinical vignettes were constructed and validated to convey the realism and contextual factors implicit in the decision to withhold/withdraw care. A scale was developed to determine the range of contact by an IEC in terms of physician knowledge and use of IEC policy. This study was composed of a sample of 215 physicians in a teaching hospital in the Southwest where proxy measures were tested for two competing influences, medical specialty and IEC, which alternately oppose and support the decision to withhold/withdraw care for the dying. A sub-sample of surgeons supported the hypothesis that an IEC is influential in opposing the medical training imperative to prolong life. Those surgeons with a low IEC score were 326 percent more likely to continue care than were surgeons with a high IEC score when compared to all other specialties. IEC alone was also found to significantly predict the decision to withhold/withdraw care. Interaction of IEC with the specialty of surgery was found to be the best predictor for a decision to withhold/withdraw care for the dying.
Weeks, Lin Carney, "A study to determine the association between medical decision-making and the performance of an institutional ethics committee" (1992). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9302802.