Limits to therapeutic efforts in clinical practice. Perceptions of medical and nursing professionals of critical patients units of a public hospital for adults in the Metropolitan Region


  • María Cristina Paredes Escobar Universidad de Chile


One of the main problems of clinical bioethics related to the end of life is the limits to therapeutic efforts. Its fair practice is reduced to limit efforts when the circumstances of the patient point to the lack of possibilities for recovering. The goal of this study is to inquire about this problem under the perceptions of medical and nursing professionals who work in critical patients units. An exploratory qualitative study was carried out applying based theory as tool for analysis, through the search of theoretical categories in data. Among the global results, the limits to therapeutic efforts are highlighted as a habitual practice which professionals must face. Technical concepts are found clear; nevertheless, the main ethical problems are originated in the processes of decision making, since there is lack of knowledge on the ethical implications and a scarce reflection about the topic. Both groups of study lacked professionals trained in bioethics, frequent fact in this field.


limits to therapeutic efforts, health care professionals, critical patients units, clinical bioethics