Modern medicine has changed natural history of many diseases. This issue is particularly clear in certain specialties like, for instance, cardiology and oncology, with a substantial increase of median duration of life, especially in western countries. This phenomenon has produced a progressive increase of chronic diseases which, before or after, will provoke patient’s death. Towards end of life, palliative care improve quality of life, offering a support for clinical, psychological, social and spiritual problems. Palliative care «intends neither to hasten nor postpone death», so medical intervention are balanced on patients’ needs, avoiding procedures that cannot be tolerated. Nevertheless, in the end of life too, desisting from some medical procedures, like mechanical ventilation, artificial nutrition or blood transfusions, can arouse doubts and important ethical considerations.
Keywords: Cure palliative, nutrizione artificiale, trasfusione, desistenza, etica, fine vita