Patient values may not always align with choices for end of life care

(Reuters Health) – Patients and families state that they value comfort, healing having time with family and death not being prolonged, but these values often don’t align with the treatment they expect at the end of life, according to a new Canadian study.

“Based on our clinical experience and previous research, we had a sense that patients were not well informed about treatment options at the end of life nor grounded in their own values,” said lead author Dr. Daren K. Heyland at the Department of Critical Care Medicine of Kingston General Hospital.

Patients need more help clarifying their values and forming informed preferences as a means to making better treatment decisions at the end of life, Heyland said.

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