Many individuals suffering from acute or progressive neurologic problems are managed in intensive care units. The capacity for these patients to exert autonomy regarding their own treatment is frequently compromised. Disease processes may impair consciousness and lucidity. Similarly, this may result from drugs, most frequently sedatives and analgesics that are necessitated by the treatments they are receiving, such as mechanical ventilation. This article will address the ethical and legal issues surrounding withdrawal of therapy, as they pertain to patients managed in intensive care units. Contemporary principles guiding clinicians' decision making will be reviewed, followed by concerns and issues regarding common sources of conflict and misconception between patients, their families and healthcare professionals.
- Intensive care
- Withdrawal of care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine