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End-of-Life Care

DNR Completion at End of Life Influenced by Perception of Caregiver Support

Results of a new study indicated that patients with terminal cancer are more likely to have completed a do-not-resuscitate order when they prefer, and believe that their caregiver prefers, comfort at the end of life.

End-of-Life Care

A simple one-question tool may help oncologists more accurately predict cancer patients’ prognoses and know when to initiate end-of-life discussions.

If we can successfully initiate advance care planning discussions with our patients and families, their end-of-life processes will improve, resulting in better care, less use of the hospital, and more honoring of newly discerned choices.

During my first medical school clinical rotation 40 years ago, the professor asked: “What’s the most important tool needed to take care of a patient?” His answer: a chair.

In my own practice, advance care planning is a part of every history and physical. In the beginning, I found the topic awkward and uncomfortable to bring up with my patients.

While having an advance plan for end-of-life decisions has increased in cancer patients, aggressive treatments near the end of life continue to occur.

The best, most likely, and worst-case prognostic framework is a helpful tool for discussing median survival with patients in a way that enables them to make sense of the data.

Researchers have identified eight specific physical signs associated with death within 3 days, which can help clinicians and families in making care decisions.


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