Withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy

Hosp Pract (1995). 2000 Jun 15;35(6):91-2, 95-100,102.


Seventy percent of deaths in intensive care units are preceded by decisions to limit life-support, most of which are made in consultation with the patient's family or other surrogates. Even when the outcome is clear, surrogates and physicians may deny that death is imminent and delay removing ventilatory assistance and other supportive measures. To avoid prolonging suffering, end-of-life decisions should always be guided by the interests and wishes of the patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Advance Directives
  • Decision Making*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Euthanasia, Passive*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Life Support Care / psychology*
  • Life Support Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Physician's Role*
  • Prognosis
  • Respiration, Artificial