The model for emergency department (ED) end-of-life communications after acute devastating events addresses decision-making capacity, surrogates, and advance directives, including legal definitions and application of these steps. Part II concerns communications moving from resuscitative to palliative and end-of-life treatments. After completing the steps involved in determining decision-making, emergency physicians (EPs) should consider starting palliative measures versus continuing resuscitative treatment. As communications related to these end-of-life decisions increasingly fall within the scope of emergency medicine (EM) practice, we need to become educated about and comfortable with them.
© 2012 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.