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June 1992

Doing Our Part to Match Patient Preferences With Rationed Intensive Care

Author Affiliations

Long Beach, Calif

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(6):1332. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400180168037

To the Editor. —  I was delighted to read the editorial on honoring patient pref erences and rationing intensive care by Bone and Elpern.1 They successfully described the immediate need for resolving the discrepancies between rationing intensive care resources and still providing the care desired by patients and their families. However, the authors did not leave us with any practical solutions to the difficult problems they exposed. The final solutions to these issues may, indeed, require the national health care summits, the legislation, and the societal reorientation that they recommended. Yet, what should be our role in the meantime, as individual health care professionals? What should physicians do now to minimize the high cost of medical care, educate our clients, and prepare them for the inevitable future of rational medical interventions, while at the same time still providing quality care that meets their expectations?One important issue is quite