Highly complex and specialized care plans sometimes overwhelm the comprehension of patients and families. Many optimistic surrogates of critically ill patients err on the side of desiring that everything be done but with a nebulous idea of what 'everything' entails. Physicians must work closely to educate surrogates as to the benefits versus the risks of treatment. Our roundtable experts ponder the question of whether providers possess the authority to interpret unilaterally the nature of requests for everything.
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