• Attitudes of UK doctors towards euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: a systematic literature review.

      McCormack, Ruaidhri; Clifford, Margaret; Conroy, Marian; Department of Palliative Medicine, Milford Care Centre, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland. r.mccormack@kcl.ac.uk (2012-01)
      To review studies over a 20-year period that assess the attitudes of UK doctors concerning active, voluntary euthanasia (AVE) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS), assess efforts to minimise bias in included studies, determine the effect of subgroup variables (e.g. age, gender) on doctors' attitudes, and make recommendations for future research. Data sources: Three electronic databases, four pertinent journals, reference lists of included studies. Review methods: Literature search of English articles between January 1990 and April 2010. Studies were excluded if they did not present independent data (e.g. commentaries) or if they related to doctors outside the UK, patients younger than 18 years old, terminal sedation, withdrawing or withholding treatment, or double-effect. Quantitative and qualitative data were extracted.
    • Creating a spiritual tapestry: nurses' experiences of delivering spiritual care to patients in an Irish hospice.

      Bailey, Maria E; Moran, Sue; Graham, Margaret M; Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Science, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick. maria.bailey@ul.ie (2009-01)
      This study aims to describe nurses' experiences of delivering spiritual support in a palliative care setting in the Republic of Ireland. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 22 nurses working in the area of specialist palliative care. A content analysis of the transcriptions revealed five sub-themes: understanding spirituality; the art of nursing in spiritual care; education and learning; the challenge of spiritual caring; and the dimensions of time. The resulting creation of a spiritual tapestry provided an overall theme. Nurses in this study were spiritually self-aware and placed a high value on the spiritual element of their caring role. Nurses described their individual understanding of spirituality and discussed how they recognized and addressed a patient's spiritual needs. Time was described as essential to the provision of spiritual support and appeared to be a significant resource challenge to the provision of spiritual care. The challenges of assessing spiritual needs and measuring outcomes of care were also reported. Participants in this study described the creation of a spiritual tapestry that 'weaves' together care and compassion with skills and knowledge in their nursing practice.