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You Can’t Stop the Machines! 

You Can’t Stop the Machines!
Chapter:
You Can’t Stop the Machines!
Author(s):

Elissa G. Miller

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190051853.003.0008
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date: 23 April 2021

It is not uncommon for families to request that providers “do everything” to help their dying child. However, there is no way a clinical team can do “everything”—families and care teams make choices and families must weigh the trade-offs inherent in those choices. By defining what “do everything” means to an individual patient or family and establishing goals of care, many families choose to follow the recommendations of a care team. However, some families continue to insist that “everything” must be done for their child. This chapter discusses working with patients and families who request “everything” and addresses some difficult scenarios in which families persist in their request, especially at end of life.

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