Are Life-Prolonging Interventions and Good Death Compatible?

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Recent medical literature reports increased utilization of the intensive care unit (ICU) at the end of life, even for patients who are considered terminally ill, and the overall ICU adult mortality rate ranges from 10% to 29%. Therefore, ICU nurses require a level of comfort in caring for patients and families at this vulnerable time. At times, ongoing aggressive life-prolonging interventions for a terminally ill patient can create ethical conflicts and moral distress for nurses. This leads to the question:

Can this level of treatment be compatible with a “good death"?

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