Intensive Care is the ward on which patients are assisted by the most sophisticated technologies and where the medical and nursing staff have to deal with two different problems, day in day out: on one hand the necessity to intervene in order to 'save', and on the other the necessity to avoid futile care with the consequent and useless extension of life. The situation is particularly complex and makes decisions difficult, also because often the patient is not in the condition to decide autonomously and the family members become the only custodians of his or her values and preferences. This publication deals with this topic by analysing some fundamental principles of bioethics and palliative medicine which, day after day, condition the choices of those who treat and take care of the patients living in the reality of an intensive care ward.
University of Florence, Italy
in the Catalogue