Death and dying: Reflections of an intensivist
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The prolonged life support of individuals with no hope for recovery has been an unfortunate consequence of recent advances in medical technology. The use of intensive therapy in such patients is contrary to the physician's obligation to relieve suffering and also creates an enormous economic burden for society. Once the physician has determined that there is no hope for a meaningful recovery, it becomes ethically correct for him to withhold or withdraw intensive therapy from that patient provided that such an action will not increase the patient's suffering.
Key wordsIntensive care Life support systems Death Medical ethics Euthanasia Medical technology Prolongation of life
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