Ethics in the Treatment of Advanced Heart Failure: Palliative Care and End-of-Life Issues

Craig Tanner, Erik Fromme, Sarah J. Goodlin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Advanced heart failure (HF) is a life-shortening condition, yet there are increasing treatments and implantable devices available to clinicians to manage patients with advanced HF. Planning for adverse events and the end of life, formulated as "preparedness planning," can be integrated into HF care early in illness. Discussions that acknowledge the uncertainty of HF course and length of life and incorporate patient and family goals and values facilitates this planning. Clear processes for weighing potential benefits and burdens of interventions and therapies should accompany decision-making. Device implantation decision-making can acknowledge alternative avenues of care to the device and identify situations in which the device might be deactivated in the future. Symptom assessment and management potentially improve quality of life in patients with advanced HF. Management of symptoms should integrate HF therapies as well as other treatments. Collaboration between HF providers, palliative care clinicians, and, if appropriate, hospice clinicians will improve care for HF patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalCongestive Heart Failure
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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