Academic Editor: Peter A. McCullough
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is one of the main causes of mortality and morbidity in the elderly. The prevalence of ACS increases with age and patients with advanced age have some co-morbidities that require an individualized approach, which includes a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Ageism is a matter of great concern. In this scenario, some ethical conflicts may arise which should be anticipated, considered, and solved. Clinicians will need to prioritize and allocate resources, to avoid futility/proportionality, which is not always easy to assess in these patients. This review aims to summarize the evidence regarding ethical conflicts that may arise in the management of patients with ACS and advanced age. We will discuss how to choose the best option (which frequently is not the only one) with the lowest risk for harm, considering and respecting the patients’ decision. The four basic principles of bioethics (beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice) are thoroughly reviewed, and discussed, regarding their role in the decision making process.