Hospital ICU practices and culture may affect decisions to end life support, especially for patients who are unable to make their own decisions, according to a University of Pennsylvania study presented at the American Thoracic Society conference. Data showed the likelihood of ICU staff to withdraw life support ranged from 3.5% to 20.6% nationwide. Lead author Dr. Caroline Quill said the important lesson for patients and families is to talk about end-of-life care preferences before someone gets sick.

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