Care of terminally-ill patients: An opinion survey among critical care healthcare providers in the Middle East

M. ur Rahman, S. Abuhasna, Fikri M. Abu-Zidan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Modern medicine has allowed physicians to support the dying terminally-ill patient with artificial means. However, a common dilemma faced by physicians in general, and intensivist in particular is when to limit or withdraw aggressive intervention. Objective: To study the effect of training background and seniority on Do-not to resuscitate (DNR) decisions in the Middle East. Methods: Anonymous questionnaire sent to members of the Pan Arab Society of Critical Care. Results: The response rate was 46.2%. Most of the responders were Muslim (86%) and consultants (70.9%). Majority of the responders were trained in western countries. Religion played a major role in 59.3% for making the DNR decision. DNR was considered equivalent to comfort care by 39.5%. In a futile case scenario, Do Not Escalate Therapy was preferred (54.7%). The likelihood of a patient, once labeled DNR, being clinically neglected was a concern among 46.5%. Admission of DNR patients to the ICU was acceptable for 47.7%. Almost one-half of the responders (46.5%) wanted physicians to have the ultimate authority in the DNR decision. Training background was a significant factor affecting the interpretation of the term no code DNR (P< 0.008). Conclusion: Training background and level of seniority in critical care provider does not impact opinion on most of end of life issues related to care of terminally-ill patients. However, DNR is considered equivalent to comfort care among majority of Middle Eastern trained physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-898
Number of pages6
JournalAfrican Health Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Care of terminally-ill
  • Do-not resuscitate
  • Islam
  • Opinion
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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