Evid Based Nurs 7:53 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.2.53
  • Treatment

Ethics consultations reduced hospital, ICU, and ventilation days in patients who died before hospital discharge in the ICU

 Q Does offering an ethics consultation reduce non-beneficial life sustaining treatments or hospital days more than usual care for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who subsequently die before hospital discharge?



randomised controlled trial.




blinded {patients and data collectors}*.

GraphicFollow up period:

until death before hospital discharge.


ICUs of 7 hospitals in the US.


551 adult ICU patients (mean age 68 y, 54% men) in whom imminent or manifest value laden conflicts that could lead to incompatible courses of treatment were identified. Conflicts occurred within or between the healthcare team and family and friends (eg, whether to pursue aggressive life sustaining treatment or comfort care, whether treatments were regarded as futile by ⩾1 member of the team, and which treatments were in the patients’ best interest in the absence of a qualified decision maker).


278 patients were …

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