Eric Prommer, MD HMDC FAAHPM
Withdrawal of ventilator support is ethically acceptable and respects patient autonomy. Although most often done in the hospital setting, home ventilator withdrawal is increasing as hospice teams gain experience. Unfortunately, published protocols have not led to improved quality of death. Additionally, protocols do not include addressing families’ and staff members’ emotional and spiritual support needs. This clinical pearls article focuses on two areas concerning ventilator withdrawal: ventilator withdrawal across different settings with symptom control and patient, family, and staff support.