Leadership DIMENSIONSeparating Medical and Ethical Helping Families Determine the Best Interests of Loved OnesSizemore, Rebecca RN, BSN Author Information Rebecca Sizemore, RN, BSN, is a long-term care nurse working at Shell Point in Fort Myers, Florida. She has a BA in philosophy and is currently working on a Master's in Nursing at the University of South Florida. Having worked for approximately 7 years in hospice and in long-term care, she has always been interested in the ethics of end-of-life care. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Rebecca Sizemore, RN, BSN, 15792 Symphony Ct., Fort Myers, FL 33908-2445 ([email protected]). Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: September 2006 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 216-220 Buy AbstractIn Brief Critical care nurses are often confronted with situations where the wishes of an incompetent patient on life support are undocumented and the family is struggling with the decision to either continue or withdraw life support. It is important that critical care nurses are able to identify their values in this and similar situations. With a better understanding of personal values, nurses are better able to provide medical information families need to make decisions about life support, without their ethical opinions being confused with medical knowledge. This article presents a framework using 2 values that are essential to decisions about life support, the sanctity of life, and quality of life to assist critical care nurses to identify values. This article presents a framework using two values essential to decisions about life support: the sanctity or life and quality of life. This framework will assist acute care nurses to identify values. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.