Show Summary Details
Page of

Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Therapies: Mechanical Ventilation, Dialysis, and Cardiac Devices 

Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Therapies: Mechanical Ventilation, Dialysis, and Cardiac Devices
Chapter:
Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Therapies: Mechanical Ventilation, Dialysis, and Cardiac Devices
Author(s):

Margaret L. Campbell

and Linda M. Gorman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190244286.003.0005
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 September 2019

Withdrawal of mechanical ventilation, discontinuation of dialysis, and deactivation of cardiac devices are procedures that occur with relative frequency. The benefits of these therapies are to replace failing organs, extend life, and improve quality of life by relieving symptom distress associated with organ failure. When the burdens exceed the benefits, or when the patient is near death or unresponsive, decisions may be made to cease these therapies. The most frequent symptoms after discontinuation of dialysis are pain, delirium, dyspnea, nausea, and itching. Deactivation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) will not degrade quality of life or create discomfort, although deactivation of a pacemaker or ventricular assist device (VAD) can create anxiety and distress that can be managed through skilled palliative care.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.