Distinction between good palliative care and intending death
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We do not want anyone in critical care to believe that we are speaking against limitation of life support. When a patient or family judges that any intervention (e.g., tracheostomy) is not justifiable or not in the “best interests” of the patient (i.e., its risks and harms clearly outweigh benefit), then it should either be limited or not performed at all.
We wrote that we would “never intentionally shorten the life of a patient.” When practicing good end-of-life care, we are accompanying patients as they die naturally of their diseases and, when patients or families decide against life-sustaining treatment, we are avoiding the artificial prolongation of their dying process. In accepting the natural dying process and shifting to palliative care, we must always...
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.
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