Chronic heart failure is a progressive disease with serious symptoms, which reduce patient functionality and increasingly interfere with basic daily activities. Therefore, palliative care should be incorporated relatively early in the management of the disease as supportive treatment. With its progression, the role of palliation becomes more and more important. Principles of palliative care in heart patients cannot be simply transferred from the oncology. The prognosis in patients with chronic heart failure is less reliable than in oncology. Furthermore, in cardiac patients, active treatment of the heart failure is preserved or even intensified in the advanced stage of the disease, because it can control the severity of the symptoms.
Nevertheless, when ICU treatment in the terminal stage is recognized and confirmed as futile, the duty of intensivist is to provide care so that the patient can die with preserved dignity and without any additional harm.
Key words: palliative care, heart failure