This thought-provoking study1 of 111 vascular surgery patients who died over a 10-year period ending in 2014 discovered that 73% of the patients died after the initiation of comfort care measures. In other words, most patients on a surgical service no longer die unexpectedly. A decision is made to allow them to die. The therapeutic goals change from rescue to palliation.
Schecter W. Limiting Care for Surgical Patients at the End of LifePrinciples of Practice. JAMA Surg. Published online November 02, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4002