Excluding family members

Although there are many reasons cited for excluding family members from the resuscitation of a patient, most are based on speculation and paternalistic attitudes rather than evidence from research (Albarran & Stafford 1999).

• Family members will physically interfere with treatments and require restraining.

• The incidence of legal actions taken against healthcare professionals will increase.

• Allowing family members to witness the resuscitation is a breach of the patient's confidentiality.

• The presence of family members will affect staff performance.

• The psychological consequences of family presence during CPR are unknown.

• There is insufficient evidence to endorse wholesale change in practice.

• Conflicting attitudes of nursing and medical staff.

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