Over the last 20 years there has been great improvement in survival from accidents, from heart disease and from infectious disease. Babies born small survive and science offers ever greater possibilities to improve the human condition. However, as the potential to help the critically ill patient increases, so do the dilemmas in applying that potential.
Decisions made by doctors to aid the survival of critically ill patients do not only depend on the state of medical knowledge at the time, but also on a host of conditions often out of the doctor’s control. Many important forces which determine the doctor’s decisions are not obvious and often have complex interactions. They may be financial, cultural, political, geographical, ethical, philosophical and even policies made in areas far away from medicine, for such as transport.
The European Critical Care Foundation (ECCF) is a pioneering new foundation established to initiate independent research into complex issues like these, with the objective of improving the care of patients suffering from critical illnesses across Europe.
In a ground breaking new approach, the ECCF brings together experts from the fields of medicine, law, philosophy, public policy and science to identify and address the issues that determine the survival and care of critically ill patients. ECCF focuses not on doctors and treatments, but on patients and results.