Towards a "good" death: end-of-life narratives constructed in an intensive care unit. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • End-of-life decisions regarding the withdrawal and withholding of life supporting technology have become commonplace within intensive care units (ICUs). In this paper, we examine the dialogue between ICU team members and families regarding limitation of treatment as a therapeutic narrative--that is, as a story which frames therapeutic events as well as the critically ill patient's experience in a meaningful and psychologically comforting way for families and health care providers alike. The key themes of these end-of-life narratives are discussed, as well as the qualities that the stories share with other narratives of the same genre.

publication date

  • September 2000