Sprung and colleaguesArticle conducted a prospective,
observational cohort study to examine end-of-life practices in 37 intensive
care units (ICUs) in 17 European countries. From January 1, 1999, to June
30, 2000, 9.8% of patients admitted to ICUs had limitations of life-sustaining
therapy. The limitations and manner of dying varied substantially between
countries. Limitation of therapy was associated with patient age, acute and
chronic diagnoses, number of days in ICU, region, and physician religion.
In an editorial, Rocker and CurtisArticle discuss factors that
may contribute to geographic variation in end-of-life care.