Category: Medical Ethics

Family Visitation at End of Life in the Intensive Care Unit During a Pandemic
by Shahla Siddiqui, MBBS, MSc (Medical ethics), FCCM

COVID-19 has drastically changed how end-of-life care is practiced in the intensive care unit (ICU). Safety concerns for society limits family visitation but is contrary to patient and family-oriented care. This article provides an ethical analysis of the pros and cons of having family members present at the death of a critically ill patient with COVID-19 and provides a framework that can be used in future surges.

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Watching a Parent Die on Facetime
by Shahla Siddiqui, MBBS, MSc (Medical ethics), FCCM

She was breathing laboriously and had all but lost consciousness. In the subcutaneous tissues of her right arm, a syringe pump was delivering morphine and midazolam to help her breathe more easily and prevent the seizures she had been having earlier. Her right cheek still twitched periodically. She was in her daughter’s home surrounded by her grandsons and daughter. Just yesterday she had opened her eyes and smiled at her loved ones, tracking their movements.

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