Bioethics Blogs

Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?

Coming up next week at the ATS International Conference in Washington, DC: “Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?”

This 2-hour session will address the use of behavioral economics and “nudges” in the ICU to guide surrogate decision-making. In particular, it will explore methods for effectively deploying nudges—tools for clinicians to use in the ICU—and an ethical framework within which to do so that adequately balances autonomy and paternal beneficence.

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss principles of behavioral economics (a.k.a. decision psychology) that physicians might employ to ethically and effectively guide end-of-life decision making in the ICU
  • Clarify misconceptions about the meaning and importance of patient autonomy and informed assent among ICU patients lacking decisional capacity
  • Discuss special considerations when deploying behavioral economics with pediatric patients and their parent surrogates

Behavioral Economics, Choice Architecture, and Nudges in the ICU
G.L. Anesi, MD, MBE, Philadelphia, PA

Intensivists’ Use of Informed Assent When Patients Lack Capacity
J.R. Curtis, MD, MPH, Seattle, WA

Default to DNR?
R.D. Stapleton, MD, PhD, Burlington, VT

Integrated ICU Team Communications and the Nursing Perspective
D.K. Costa, PhD, RN, Ann Arbor, MI

The (Ambiguous) Role of Autonomy in Surrogate
D.B. White, MD, Pittsburgh, PA

Helping Parents with Decisions
M.F. Haward, MD, Bronx, NY

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.