University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Dr. Gretchen Schwarze: Working to Improve Postoperative Decision Making

Margaret L Schwarze, MD performed a nationwide survey of more than 900 vascular, cardiothoracic and neurological surgeons, and discovered that 60 percent said they would either sometimes or always refuse to operate on a patient who explicitly stated a desire to limit life-supporting treatments for a life-threatening postoperative complication. A similar number (62%) said they would preoperatively create an informal contract with patients outlining agreed-upon limits of aggressive postoperative treatments. The results of the survey were published online recently in the journal Critical Care Medicine (

To read the full-text abstract from the Journal of Critical Care Medicine, please click here.

To read the recent release from, please click here.