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Meeting tragedy: interviews about situations of ethical difficulty in intensive care.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5994-4012
1996 (English)In: Intensive & Critical Care Nursing, ISSN 0964-3397, E-ISSN 1532-4036, Vol. 12, no 4, 207-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For the purpose of illuminating the meaning of being in ethically difficult situations, eight enrolled nurses, 12 registered nurses and 10 physicians (n = 30) working in intensive care units in Sweden were asked to narrate care episodes of ethical difficulty. A phenomenological-hermeneutical analysis of the 30 narratives about nine care episodes disclosed that all stories concerned meeting tragedy, which evoked a spirit of compassion that pointed to values. The 'intention of compassion' aimed at respecting these ethical values. Respecting ethical values meant being consoled, which generated confidence in life that helped the person to embrace tragedy. When values were not respected, ethical problems emerged. Communication of values facilitated realisation, while unconscious values were indirectly communicated through emotions. Such communication meant risking vulnerability and meeting oneself. Meeting self and one's vulnerability demanded abilities of being consoled, i.e. in this study giving consolation, providing realistic treatment and being faithful in one's profession. A prerequisite for expressing personal standpoints and cooperating in the struggles of respecting ethical values was holding each other in great respect. When meeting tragedy, the spirit of compassion pointed to ethical problems, to the possibilities of solving the problems, and to the fulfilment of vision through converting feelings of despair into action energy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1996. Vol. 12, no 4, 207-17 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-29947PubMedID: 8932016OAI: diva2:278636
Available from: 2009-11-27 Created: 2009-11-27 Last updated: 2016-02-01

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