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end-of-life, palliative care, withdrawal, withhold



  1. Min, Jinsoo MD, MPH
  2. Lee, Yeon Joo MD
  3. Park, Guntae RN
  4. Shin, Jeong Yeon RN
  5. Yoon, Jisook RN
  6. Park, Sang Im RN
  7. Cho, Young-Jae MD, MPH


Interest in communication strategies, such as family meetings for intensive care unit (ICU) patients and their family members, is growing among the intensivists in South Korea. We report our experience of multidisciplinary meetings with family members of ICU patients. After seminars on communication and end-of-life care, a consensus on the guidelines for ICU family meetings was made. A weekly multidisciplinary meeting was held to review and address the plans of ICU patients. A total of 8 family meetings were held between September 2014 and January 2015. Four patients had acute respiratory failure, 2 patients had septic shock, 1 patient had postoperative acute respiratory distress syndrome, and 1 patient had ischemic encephalopathy. With the exception of 1 family meeting, which failed to make a decision, 7 family meetings were successfully conducted: 1 case of withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment (LST), 1 case of withholding of LST, 1 case of refusal to any LST, 2 cases of do-not-resuscitate, 1 case of full active treatment, and 1 case of supportive care. This is the first pilot study of ICU multidisciplinary family meetings in South Korea. More evidence regarding the culture of the local populace is required to successfully understand how to integrate family meetings into the ICU.