End-of-life care in the intensive care unit: Report from the Task Force of World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine

J Crit Care. 2016 Aug;34:125-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2016.04.017.

Abstract

End-of-life care in the intensive care unit (ICU) was identified as an objective in a series of Task Forces developed by the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine Council in 2014. The objective was to develop a generic statement about current knowledge and to identify challenges relevant to the global community that may inform regional and local initiatives. An updated summary of published statements on end-of-life care in the ICU from national Societies is presented, highlighting commonalities and differences within and between international regions. The complexity of end-of-life care in the ICU, particularly relating to withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment while ensuring the alleviation of suffering, within different ethical and cultural environments is recognized. Although no single statement can therefore be regarded as a criterion standard applicable to all countries and societies, the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine endorses and encourages the role of Member Societies to lead the debate regarding end-of-life care in the ICU within each country and to take a leading role in developing national guidelines and recommendations within each country.

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • Critical Care*
  • Culture
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Societies, Medical
  • Terminal Care*