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October 2, 2019

A Measured Dose of Optimism for the Evolution of ICU-Based Palliative Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Program to Support People and Enhance Recovery (ProSPER), Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
  • 3Section of Palliative Care, Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA. 2019;322(17):1655-1657. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.12660

Ideally, palliative care is involved early in the course of illness, and usually in the outpatient setting. With this model of care, the treatment provided is guided by shared decision-making that includes the patient’s voice and a trusted clinician’s input. As the health status of the patient declines over months to years, a transition is made from treatments with curative intent toward therapies designed to optimize comfort. Throughout the entirety of the illness, the clinician also supports the patient and family, managing distress and optimizing quality of life.

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