The physician in the face of death in the emergency room

Authors

  • Janaína de Souza Aredes Instituto René Rachou. Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Coletiva
  • Karla Cristina Giacomin Secretaria Municipal de Saúde de Belo Horizonte
  • Josélia Oliveira Araújo Firmo Instituto René Rachou. Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11606/S1518-8787.2018052000296

Keywords:

Physicians, psychology. Attitude to Death, ethnology. Emergency Medicine. Anthropology, Medical. Qualitative Research.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To analyze how physicians, as part of a sociocultural group, handle the different types of death, in a metropolitan emergency service. METHODS: This is an ethnography carried out in one of the largest emergency services in Latin America. We have collected the data for nine months with participant observation and interviews with 43 physicians of different specialties – 25 men and 18 women, aged between 28 and 69 years. RESULTS: The analysis, guided by the model of Signs, Meanings, and Actions, shows a vast mosaic of situations and issues that permeate the medical care in an emergency unit. The results indicate that physicians may consider one death more difficult than another, depending on the criteria: age, identification or not with the patient, circumstances of the death, and medical questioning as to their responsibility in the death process. CONCLUSIONS: For physicians, no death is easy. Each death can be more or less difficult, depending on different criteria that permeate the medical care in an emergency unit, and it reveals different social, ethical, and moral issues.

Published

2018-04-05

How to Cite

Aredes, J. de S., Giacomin, K. C., & Firmo, J. O. A. (2018). The physician in the face of death in the emergency room. Revista De Saúde Pública, 52, 42. https://doi.org/10.11606/S1518-8787.2018052000296

Issue

Section

Original Articles