Ethical Issues and Palliative Care in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

Keith M. Swetz, J. Keith Mansel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Scopus citations


Medical advances over the past 50years have helped countless patients with advanced cardiac disease or who are critically ill in the intensive care unit (ICU), but have added to the ethical complexity of the care provided by clinicians, particularly at the end of life. Palliative care has the primary aim of improving symptom burden, quality of life, and the congruence of the medical plan with a patient's goals of care. This article explores ethical issues encountered in the cardiac ICU, discusses key analyses of these issues, and addresses how palliative care might assist medical teams in approaching these challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-668
Number of pages12
JournalCardiology clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Advanced heart failure
  • Bioethics
  • End of life
  • Medical ethics
  • Medical technology
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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