Opening the doors: family presence during resuscitation

J Cardiovasc Nurs. 1996 Jul;10(4):59-70. doi: 10.1097/00005082-199607000-00007.


In most hospitals, family members are prohibited from being present during resuscitation because it is believed that they would be unable to cope with the crisis or that litigation might be fostered. This article challenges traditional thinking and proposes that a movement is underway fostering family presence during resuscitation because of nursing's moral imperative to preserve the wholeness, integrity, and dignity of the family unit from birth to death. An overview of the family presence movement is presented that synthesizes current literature and research, examines risks and benefits, suggests guidelines for practice, shares experience, and proposes implications for the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation* / nursing
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation* / psychology
  • Child
  • Family* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Program Development
  • Resuscitation / nursing
  • Resuscitation / psychology
  • Visitors to Patients* / psychology