Sharing the choices
The information from the doctors about the clinical conditions and the will of a patient reported by the relatives are the bases for the sharing of any therapeutic choice.
It is important that care givers accurately inform the relatives about the possible therapeutic options, in an honest and comprehensible way: this creates a special relationship of trust that permits to face together even difficult choices.
While trying to make comprehensible the situation to people who have nothing to do with hospital world and listening to any perplexity, doubt or fear, doctors and nurses of Intensive Care accompany and support the relatives in the most critical situations. The sharing of very complicated decisions (procedures that are risky to perform, suspension of useless or ineffective treatments, ...) is the only possibility to make them bearable.
The fundamental decisions about treatment of patients in the Intensive Care are never taken by a sole doctor. The teamwork that makes possible to cure very critical patients involves a daily exchange of views in the medical and nursing staff in the Intensive Care. The corporate decision making and the confrontation with external specialists are the best guarantees that the therapeutic choices are the most adequate for that patient in that moment.