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T he primary goals of intensive care medicine are to help patients survive acute threats to their lives while preserving and restoring the quality of those lives. These goals are frequently achieved, with approximately 75% to 90% of patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) surviving to discharge (1). Even so, the ICU has become a common place to(More)
We seek to change the conversation about brain death by highlighting the distinction between brain death as a biological concept versus brain death as a legal status. The fact that brain death does not cohere with any biologically plausible definition of death has been known for decades. Nevertheless, this fact has not threatened the acceptance of brain(More)
T he primary goals of intensive care medicine are to help patients survive acute threats to their lives while preserving and restoring the quality of those lives. These goals are frequently achieved, with approximately 75% to 90% of patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) surviving to discharge (1). Even so, the ICU has become a common place to(More)
Although established in the law and current practice, the determination of death according to neurological criteria continues to be controversial. Some scholars have advocated return to the traditional circulatory and respiratory criteria for determining death because individuals diagnosed as 'brain dead' display an extensive range of integrated biological(More)
In 2009, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) funded an assembly project, Palliative Management of Dyspnea Crisis, to focus on identification, management, and optimal resource utilization for effective palliation of acute episodes of dyspnea. We conducted a comprehensive search of the medical literature and evaluated available evidence from systematic(More)
A moribund and debilitated patient arrives in an emergency department and is placed on life support systems. Subsequently it is determined that she has a 'living will' proscribing aggressive measures should her condition be judged 'terminal' by her physicians. But, as our round table of authorities reveal, the concept of 'terminal' means different things to(More)