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Critical care at the end of life: balancing technology with compassion and agreeing when to stop

Montgomery, H; Grocott, M; Mythen, M; (2017) Critical care at the end of life: balancing technology with compassion and agreeing when to stop. British Journal of Anaesthesia , 119 (S1) i85-i89. 10.1093/bja/aex324. Green open access

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Abstract

Modern intensive care saves lives. However, the substantial related financial costs are, for many, married to substantial costs in terms of suffering. In the most sick, the experience of intensive care is commonly associated with the development of profound physical debility, which may last years after discharge. Likewise, the negative psychological impact commonly experienced by such patients during their care is now widely recognized, as is the persistence of psychological morbidity. Such issues become increasingly important as the population of the frail elderly increases, and the health and social care services face budgetary restriction. Efforts must be made to humanize intensive care as much as possible. Meanwhile, an open conversation must be held between those within the medical professions, and between such healthcare workers and the public in general, regarding the balancing of the positive and negative impacts of intensive care. Such conversations should extend to individual patients and their families when considering what care is genuinely in their best interests.

Type: Article
Title: Critical care at the end of life: balancing technology with compassion and agreeing when to stop
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/bja/aex324
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aex324
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038960
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