Death is an inevitable fact in the critical care setting. This fact does not make it more comfortable for the nurse who is caring for a critically ill patient who is dying. Some health care providers have recommended that the critical care resources are better utilized for the patient whose prognosis is not death. This position can be countered with the perspective that there may be no better place to provide the intensive nursing care that the dying patient may need than the critical care setting. A new nursing diagnosis, Terminal Syndrome related to the dying process is introduced to assist the nurse in providing comprehensive care for what is often a complex patient care situation. The goal is to achieve for each dying individual in the critical care setting what she or he truly desires, an end to the life process, a death achieved with comfort and dignity.

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