Ethical issues of resuscitation

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1999 May;17(2):527-38, xiii-xiv. doi: 10.1016/s0733-8627(05)70077-8.


There is a wide variety of ethical issues and dilemmas involving resuscitation, the act of restoring life to a patient in cardiorespiratory arrest. Decisions must be made rapidly and often must be based on suboptimal levels of information available at the time. Certain issues should be considered when one is making decisions in the resuscitation arena, including positive-aspects of resuscitation, not only the possibility of restoring life to the patient but also providing a sense of closure and resolution of guilt for the survivors. During and following resuscitative efforts, the psychologic and emotional well-being of the survivors should also be given close attention.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Advance Directives
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Decision Making
  • Emergency Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Family / psychology
  • Guilt
  • Humans
  • Medical Futility
  • Quality of Life
  • Research
  • Resuscitation* / adverse effects
  • Resuscitation* / methods
  • Resuscitation* / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome