Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door: End of Life Decisions and Discussions


  • Curt Tribble, MD Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA



More than 2.5 million people die in the United States each year. For the majority who live out their final days in various institutions or in hospice care, decisions must be made about which treatments to administer, which treatments to stop, which treatments to continue, and which treatments to back off of. Thus, while death remains inevitable, its timing is often very much a function of human agency. Once it was common to speak of “nature taking its course,” but now it has become as common to view death as something about which people have some control [Meisel 2008].


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How to Cite

Tribble, MD, C. (2017). Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door: End of Life Decisions and Discussions. The Heart Surgery Forum, 20(3), E111-E115.