The emergence of technologies and the realization of new and better alternatives in medical care providers that health service providers adapt themselves to the changing times (Aldridge, 2005). Traditionally resuscitative efforts and invasive medical procedures have been restricted to patients and their health care providers. But in recent times, family members’ presence during resuscitation is now being acknowledged as important and practiced in some health care facilities (Duran, et al, 2007). It remains to be a widely debated ethical issue particularly to those medical professionals often involved in life-threatening situations (Nibert, 2005). A number of national organizations have propagated the implementation of this practice, including ENA, AAP, ACEP and a host of others. This report will focus mainly on resuscitation efforts, particularly in the critical care and emergency departments. This report aims to identify opposing arguments and their respective points and reach a conclusion as to why, despite studies that show their benefits, there is much resistance in the implementation of this practice and if implementation of guidelines and policies will help alleviate the reasons for such resistance.
Using PUBMED, MEDSCAPE/MEDLINE .databases, a literature review was conducted covering the years from 1998 to the present. . Terminologies used for the research included CPR, family presence, family member presence, resuscitation, relatives inside resuscitation rooms. . A number of studies regarding the topic were recovered and though most of these studies show positive outcomes, the notion of family members’ presence during resuscitation efforts remains to be a medical enigma. It is evident that further studies are required in order to fully assimilate the value of family presence and clear policies and guidelines are warranted if an effective provision for family members’ presence during resuscitation and invasive procedures are to be implemented.