Long Term Intensive Care


Intensive care is a specialized treatment given to patients. It is concerned with provision of life support to patients who are critically ill and requiring intensive monitoring. This service is provided through the intensive care unit of the hospital. Provision of intensive care for a long time is usually excessively expensive.

Opposing: long intensive care stays should be provided to all Americans regardless of cost

Intensive care is resource intensive. A lot of money is used to maintain a patient in the intensive care unit. Since resources are scarce, they should be used efficiently and for the good of the many (Bayer, Callahan, Fletcher, Hodgson, 1999). The resource that could be used to provide this service all Americans who needs it would ultimately lead to lack of resource to provide other medical care.

Provision of long term intensive care should not be made available to all patients. Terminally ill, elderly and otherwise whose death seems imminent should not be allowed the long term intensive care. By so doing the intensive care will be more available to other needy patient and who have high chance for recovery (Curtis, Rubenfeld, 2001).

Patients in the end-life usually experience a lot of suffering and pain. Despite the intensive care many of these patients end up passing on after a lot of suffering and having used up a lot of financial resources (Curtis, Rubenfeld, 2001). To avoid this long suffering, intensive care period

Long Term Intensive Care

should be reduced.

Not all patients recover after the intensive care (Murphy, Wenger, Lynn, 2000 ). Evaluation should be made before putting the patient in the expensive care. Long intensive care patients usually leave their relative in very bad financial state.


Studies have shown that cost of long intensive care are excessive and on average the patients who die after the care are more expensive than those who survive. It should be agreed that death is a reality that will ultimately come, thus, we should not over use the little resource we have on trying to prevent it. Instead we should try to improve the health care of the many.


Bayer, Callahan, Fletcher, Hodgson (1999): The care of the terminally ill: morality and economics. N Engl J Med;

Curtis, Rubenfeld (2001). Managing death in the ICU: the transition from cure to comfort. New

York: Oxford University Press; 2001. p. 245-255.

University of Oxford (2009) Efficiency versus capacity in intensive care retrieved on 7th October

2009 from



Long Term Intensive Care

Murphy, Wenger, Lynn (2000);-Decision-making and outcomes of prolonged ICU stays in seriously ill patients:-J Am Gerieatr Soc