End-of-Life Care in the Intensive Care Unit: Toward a New Concept of Futility

  • D. Crippen


A high proportion of patients who die in hospitals do so in some form of intensive care unit (ICU) [1]. As medical care is made available to growing populations, the number of patients who develop critical illness increases. Accordingly, more titrated treatment needs to be provided, in an environment that facilitates such care. Normally, only patients with a strong potential to benefit from the services of an ICU are admitted to one [2]. In a perfect system, no one would die in an ICU, except as a result of an unexpected decompensation [3]. Many intensivists believe that patients who fail to respond to intensive care should be quickly transferred to home or hospice to die [4].


Intensive Care Unit Critical Care Intensive Care Unit Patient Organ System Failure Critical Care Physician 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • D. Crippen

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