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Decision making at the end of life

R Aubry
On February 2, 2016, the French parliament adopted legislation creating new rights for the terminally ill. The text modifies and reinforces the rights of patients to end-of-life care and strengthens the status of surrogate decision makers. Under the new regulations, advance directives become legally binding though not unenforceable. Two types of advance directives are distinguished depending on whether the person is suffering or not from a serious illness when drafting them. The attending physician must abide by the patient's advance directives except in three situations: there is a life-threatening emergency; the directives are manifestly inappropriate; the directives are not compatible with the patient's medical condition...
October 21, 2016: Revue Neurologique
Edwina A Brown, Frederic O Finkelstein, Osasuyi U Iyasere, Alan S Kliger
Management of older people on dialysis requires focus on the wider aspects of aging as well as dialysis. Almost all frail and older patients receiving dialysis will default to in-center hemodialysis, although the availability of assisted peritoneal dialysis enables dialysis at home. As with any disease management decision, patients approaching end-stage renal disease need all the appropriate facts about their prognosis, the natural history of their disease without dialysis, and the resulting outcomes and complications of the different dialysis modalities...
October 20, 2016: Kidney International
Erin Traister, Kim L Larson, Dell Hagwood
PURPOSE: We sought to understand decision making, family involvement, and cultural factors that influence palliative care for Guatemalans. DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in Guatemala to explore palliative care experiences among seven participants. FINDINGS: The overarching theme was Relief from Suffering, reinforced by three support systems: the family, community rezadora, and priest. The family made decisions and provided physical care...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Transcultural Nursing: Official Journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society
Olga Tursunov, Nathan I Cherny, Freda DeKeyser Ganz
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To describe the experience of family members of patients receiving palliative sedation at the initiation of treatment and after the patient has died and to compare these experiences over time.
. DESIGN: Descriptive comparative study.
. SETTING: Oncology ward at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel.
. SAMPLE: A convenience sample of 34 family members of dying patients receiving palliative sedation...
November 1, 2016: Oncology Nursing Forum
Magnolia Cardona-Morrell, Gustavo Benfatti-Olivato, Jesse Jansen, Robin M Turner, Diana Fajardo-Pulido, Ken Hillman
OBJECTIVE: To describe the range of decision aids (DAs) available to enable informed choice for older patients at the end of life and assess their effectiveness or acceptability. METHODS: Search strategy covered PubMed, Scopus, Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, EBM Reviews, CINAHL and PsycInfo between 1995 and 2015. The quality criteria framework endorsed by the International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) was used to assess usefulness. RESULTS: Seventeen DA interventions for patients, their surrogates or health professionals were included...
October 11, 2016: Patient Education and Counseling
Jérôme Allyn, Cyril Ferdynus, Michel Bohrer, Cécile Dalban, Dorothée Valance, Nicolas Allou
BACKGROUND: End-of-life decision-making in Intensive care Units (ICUs) is difficult. The main problems encountered are the lack of a reliable prediction score for death and the fact that the opinion of patients is rarely taken into consideration. The Decision Curve Analysis (DCA) is a recent method developed to evaluate the prediction models and which takes into account the wishes of patients (or surrogates) to expose themselves to the risk of obtaining a false result. Our objective was to evaluate the clinical usefulness, with DCA, of the Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II) to predict ICU mortality...
2016: PloS One
Jaclyn Yoong, Aleece MacPhail, Gael Trytel, Prashanti Yalini Rajendram, Margaret Winbolt, Joseph E Ibrahim
Objective Limitation of Medical Treatment (LMT) forms are an essential element of end-of-life care. Decision making around LMT is complex and often involves patients with dementia. Despite the complexity, junior doctors frequently play a central role in completing LMT forms. The present study sought perspectives from a range of stakeholders (hospital clinicians, medical education personnel, legal and advocacy staff) about junior doctors' roles in completing LMT forms in general and for patients with dementia...
October 14, 2016: Australian Health Review: a Publication of the Australian Hospital Association
Benjamin Djulbegovic, Athanasios Tsalatsanis, Rahul Mhaskar, Iztok Hozo, Branko Miladinovic, Howard Tuch
INTRODUCTION: Management choices at the end of life are high-stake decisions fraught with emotions, chief among is regret. Our objective in this paper is to test the utility of a regret-based model to facilitate referral to hospice care while helping patients clarify their preferences on how they wish to spend the remaining days of their lives. METHODS: A prospective cohort study that enrolled consecutive adult patients (n = 178) aware of the terminal nature of their disease...
October 3, 2016: European Journal of Cancer
Joy E Lawn, Hannah Blencowe, Mary V Kinney, Fiorella Bianchi, Wendy J Graham
Despite the impressive progress gains for maternal and child health during the Millennium Development Goals era, over 5.6 million women and babies died in 2015 due to complications during pregnancy, birth and in the first month of life. In order to achieve the new mortality targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals, there needs to be intentional efforts to maintain and accelerate action to end preventable maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths. This paper outlines what progress is required to meet these new 2030 targets based on patterns of progress in the recent past; where the burden is the greatest; when to focus attention along the continuum of care; and what causes of death require concerted efforts...
July 28, 2016: Best Practice & Research. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Brian Clemency, Colleen Clemency Cordes, Heather A Lindstrom, Jeanne M Basior, Deborah P Waldrop
OBJECTIVES: What patients intend when they make health care choices and whether they understand the meaning of orders for life-sustaining treatment forms is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to analyze the directives from a sample of emergency department (ED) patients' MOLST forms. PROCEDURES: MOLST forms that accompanied 100 patients who were transported to an ED were collected and their contents analyzed. Data categories included age, gender, if the patient completed the form for themselves, medical orders for life-sustaining treatment including intubation, ventilation, artificial nutrition, artificial fluids or other treatment, and wishes for future hospitalization or transfer...
September 27, 2016: Journal of the American Medical Directors Association
Zahra Rahemi, Christine Lisa Williams
This integrative review was conducted to examine the evidence for understanding diversity in end-of-life preferences among older adults of underrepresented groups. Findings from 21 studies were critically examined, grouped, and compared across studies, populations, and settings. Five major themes emerged: advance directives, hospice and palliative care, communication, knowledge and information, and home and family. Despite multidisciplinary attention, content and methodological limitations narrowed understanding of what matters most to these groups when making decisions at end of life...
September 26, 2016: ANS. Advances in Nursing Science
Chloe Shaw, Elizabeth Stokoe, Katie Gallagher, Narendra Aladangady, Neil Marlow
The article analyses the decision-making process between doctors and parents of babies in neonatal intensive care. In particular, it focuses on cases in which the decision concerns the redirection of care from full intensive care to palliative care at the end of life. Thirty one families were recruited from a neonatal intensive care unit in England and their formal interactions with the doctor recorded. The conversations were transcribed and analysed using conversation analysis. Analysis focused on sequences in which decisions about the redirection of care were initiated and progressed...
September 25, 2016: Sociology of Health & Illness
Celia Hoi Yan Chan, Hi Po Bobo Lau, Michelle Yi Jun Tam, Ernest Hung Yu Ng
STUDY QUESTION: What is the relationship between decisional conflict, decisional regret and psychological well-being in women following unsuccessful IVF cycles? SUMMARY ANSWER: The mediating effect of decisional regret on the relationship between decisional conflict and fertility-related quality of life (FRQOL) has been found to be moderated by the availability (versus absence) of frozen embryos after an unsuccessful IVF cycle. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Infertility treatment is marked by its open-ended nature...
September 22, 2016: Human Reproduction
Laura Anne Brooks, Elizabeth Manias, Patricia Nicholson
BACKGROUND: Patients admitted to Australian intensive care units are often critically unwell, and present the challenge of increasing mortality due to an ageing population. Several of these patients have terminal conditions, requiring withdrawal of active treatment and commencement of end-of-life (EOL) care. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to explore the perspectives and experiences of physicians and nurses providing EOL care in the ICU. In particular, perceived barriers, enablers and challenges to providing EOL care were examined...
September 20, 2016: Australian Critical Care: Official Journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses
Sigrid Dierickx, Luc Deliens, Joachim Cohen, Kenneth Chambaere
BACKGROUND: In 2002, the Belgian Act on Euthanasia came into effect, regulating the intentional ending of life by a physician at the patient's explicit request. We undertook this study to describe trends in officially reported euthanasia cases in Belgium with regard to patients' sociodemographic and clinical profiles, as well as decision-making and performance characteristics. METHODS: We used the database of all euthanasia cases reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia in Belgium between Jan...
September 12, 2016: CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal de L'Association Medicale Canadienne
Amber E Barnato, Yael Schenker, Greer Tiver, Mary Amanda Dew, Robert M Arnold, Eduardo R Nunez, Charles F Reynolds
OBJECTIVES: Surrogate decision makers involved in decisions to limit life support for an incapacitated patient in the ICU have high rates of adverse emotional health outcomes distinct from normal processes of grief and bereavement. Narrative self-disclosure (storytelling) reduces emotional distress after other traumatic experiences. We sought to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and tolerability of storytelling among bereaved surrogates involved in a decision to limit life support in the ICU...
September 9, 2016: Critical Care Medicine
Nicholas G Wysham, May Hua, Catherine L Hough, Stephanie Gundel, Sharron L Docherty, Derek M Jones, Owen Reagan, Haley Goucher, Jessica Mcfarlin, Christopher E Cox
OBJECTIVE: Addressing the quality gap in ICU-based palliative care is limited by uncertainty about acceptable models of collaborative specialist and generalist care. Therefore, we characterized the attitudes of physicians and nurses about palliative care delivery in an ICU environment. DESIGN: Mixed-methods study. SETTING: Medical and surgical ICUs at three large academic hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred three nurses, intensivists, and advanced practice providers...
September 9, 2016: Critical Care Medicine
Bernadette McGuinness, Chris R Cardwell, Peter Passmore
BACKGROUND: There are approximately 24 million people worldwide with dementia; this is likely to increase to 81 million by 2040. Dementia is a progressive condition, and usually leads to death eight to ten years after first symptoms. End-of-life care should emphasise treatments that optimise quality of life and physicians should minimise unnecessary or non-beneficial interventions. Statins are 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors; they have become the cornerstone of pharmacotherapy for the management of hypercholesterolaemia but their ability to provide benefit is unclear in the last weeks or months of life...
September 9, 2016: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
J Downing, R Kiman, S Boucher, B Nkosi, B Steel, C Marston, E Lascar, J Marston
The International Children's Palliative Care Network held its second international conference on children's palliative care in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the 18th-21st May 2016. The theme of the conference was 'Children's Palliative Care…. Now!' emphasising the need for palliative care for children now, as the future will be too late for many of them. Six pre-conference workshops were held, addressing issues connected to pain assessment and management, adolescent palliative care, ethics and decision-making, developing programmes, the basics of children's palliative care, and hidden aspects of children's palliative care...
2016: Ecancermedicalscience
Sabine Pleschberger, Paulina Wosko
BACKGROUND: A growing number of older people are living in single households. They form a disadvantaged group within society as regards staying at home, most likely towards the end-of-life. It is mainly non-kin-carers who try to fulfil older people's desire for a home death, but very little is known about the challenges they face during their involvement. AIM: Getting insight into the engagement of non-kin-carers in the support for older people living alone, and a better understanding of the challenges they have to manage in end-of-life care...
September 8, 2016: Palliative Medicine
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