Managing Death in the ICU: The Transition from Cure to Comfort,
a new book edited by critical care specialists Randy Curtis
and Gordon Rubenfeld
, covers developments in the care of ICU patients during the final days and hours of life. The publisher is Oxford University Press.
The books contributing authors address clinical, ethical and social issues. Among these are the changing epidemiology of death in the ICU and the kinds of interventions that make a difference for dying patients.
The book offers advice on communicating with patients and patients' families. Contributing writers discuss ethical and practical questions about reducing pain, dyspnea and emotional distress to keep a dying patient comfortable and about providing care for the patient's family. In addition, the authors explore how withdrawal of life support therapies can be done well.
Curtis is an associate professor of medicine and Rubenfeld is an assistant professor of medicine, both in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Curtis directs the Harborview End of Life Research Program and has pursued studies in this field as a Philip J. Fialkow Scholar.