As you know, next May 26th and 27th is taking place in Barcelona the II National Conference on Humanizing Intensive Care.

One of the discussion pannel is called “Before and the end” and “Palliative Intensive Care: why not?”, and will be moderated by Dra. Mari Cruz Martín with the speakers Dr. Enric Benito (Coordinator of Palliative care of the Balearic Islands) and Fernando Campaña (Nurse and creator of the collaborative blog Cuidados Paliativos + Visibles).

We have asked the speakers a summary of some of the key concepts for them about Palliative Care in ICU with the idea of attracting your attention and invite you to participate and share your experience in the discussion.

“We usually do many thing to delay death, and too little and late to mitigate the suffering”, especially evident in the ICU enviroment with very peculiar characteristics, believes Fernando.

It´s easier to “do” instead of “stop doing” but we have to think about it, although it is difficult for all (family and professionals) and rethink the objectives when the ICU can´t cure and death is approaching.

Enric proposes reflections from his own experience as a professional with experience in the care of people dying after a chronic disease process and progressive deterioration.

– The process of dying is a human experience of a profound anthropological significance, involving: the person who dies, their relatives and also those who care for the person.

– Recognizing the depth and human significance of this stage can ensure a respectful look at it and taking care of and accompanying the process from a human perspective, promoting a close of the biography more harmonic possible to help and accompany those who leave.

-The progressive deterioration of the body and the biological aspects of the process are just the visible part from a biomedical perspective. The patient as aperson has in addition a subjective dimension, an inner life, a network of relations and ultimately, a transcendent dimension. From this perspective, the adaptive process of closure of the biography can be seen. The transcendent dimension, if we aspire to a comprehensive care of the person, should be equally recognized, assessed and attended.

-The process of dying is unique for each person, and how it´s done depends in part on factors of the biography, which the person has lived and the way of his/her life. And most importantly, how dying can significantly impact in the lives of those who loves and accompany the person.

In the scope of the ICU, we should establish a collaboration between ICU and Palliative professionals to explore, define and propose improvements in attention focused to ensure a good death in a consensual way.

This is a change from the “Mantra” that should not be: “This person is not going to die under my responsability”, but “As we see he/she is going to die, we will take care of him/her and accompany in order to have a good die”.

These are just a few of the ingredients of this pannel that surely will not leave indifferent anybody. We invite you to reflect and send us your considerations and questions. To do this, you can insert your questions as comments at the end of this post.

See you at the II National Conference on Humanizing Intensive Care within a few days.

Happy Wednesday,