End-of-Life Advice in Health Center Mineola NY

When deciding whether to turn off life support for a loved one, family members aren't always interested in their doctor's advice, new research shows. The finding runs counter to assumptions among critical-care providers that families making such a heart-wrenching choice would welcome a physician's impartial opinion.

Local Companies

Greenwich Hospital Hospice
(203)863-3883
5 Perryridge Rd
Greenwich, CT
Visiting Nurse Svcs of NY Hospice Care
(212)609-1900
1250 Broadway 3rd Fl
New York, NY
Continuum Hospice Care
212-420-3370
39 Broadway, Suite 200
New York, NY
Good Shepherd Hospice
631-465-6300
245 Old Country Road
Melville, NY
Hospice of New York, LLC
718-472-1999
45-18 Court Square
Long Island City, NY
Calvary Hospital Hospice
718-430-9540
1740 Eastchester Road
Bronx, NY
Jacob Perlow Hospice
(212)420-2844
1775 Broadway
New York, NY
Calvary Home Helath Agency & Hospice
(718)518-2465
1740 Eastchester Rd
Bronx, NY
Visiting Nurse Service and Hospice of Suffolk
631-930-9315
505 Main Street
Northport, NY
Xincon Technology, Inc.
718-706-8897
3512 Northern Blvd., Ste 2A
Long Island City, NY
Data Provided by:
      

Provided By:

TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- When deciding whether to turn off life support for a loved one, family members aren't always interested in their doctor's advice, new research shows.

The finding runs counter to assumptions among critical-care providers that families making such a heart-wrenching choice would welcome a physician's impartial opinion.

Critically ill patients who don't have advance directives often require others to make medical decisions for them, said study author Douglas B. White, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Family members often make the decision based on what they believe the patient would have wanted.

"This puts an enormous emotional burden on surrogates; not only are they losing a loved one, they also may feel burdened by guilt about allowing the patient to die," White said. "It was therefore assumed by some in the medical community that a doctor's dispassionate advice could reduce some of that burden and help surrogates make a good decision with less second-guessing themselves."

Researchers showed videos to 169 surrogates recruited from intensive care units at University of California San Francisco Medical Center. The videos depicted a dramatized "family conference" in which surrogates must decide whether to withdraw life support from a loved one who has a small chance of survival with continued treatment, but a high likelihood of being functionally impaired and needing a ventilator.

In one video, the doctor tells the surrogate to make the choice that's consistent with the patient's values, and that only the surrogate knows what that is. In the second video, the doctor tells the surrogate that the patient probably wouldn't want continued attempts to keep him or her alive.

About 56 percent of surrogates said they preferred the video in which the physician offered an opinion to limit life support, while 42 percent preferred the video in which no recommendation was offered. Two percent had no preference.

The study appears in the August 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. J. Randall Curtis, president of the American Thoracic Society, said the paper challenges current assumptions about dealing with families in end-of-life situations.

"This is an important article that has changed my clinical practice," said Curtis, a professor of medicine and section head of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. "I had previously assumed that almost all families would want physicians' recommendations, but these findings indicate that there is no such consensus among surrogates. I suspect that physicians can do more harm by withholding a recommendation that is desired than by providing a recommendation that is not desired, but this study suggests we should ask rather than assume."

About 51 percent of the surrogates who wanted their doctor's advice believed that it was the doctor's job to provide that opinion. Nearly 79 percent who preferred not to receive the advice saw it as overstepping.

"A very important part of American bioethics is respecting patients' choices," White said. "The family's most important job when acting as a surrogate decision maker is to give voice to the patient's values. I think our research highlights that the physician's job is to be flexible enough and insightful enough to respond to the surrogate's individual needs for guidance."

More information

The Family Caregiver Alliance has more on making end-of-life decisions.

SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, August 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Read Article at HealthDay.com

Related Articles
- Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer Mineola NY
Mass screening for prostate cancer with a test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has led to mass over-diagnosis and over-treatment, a new study contends. Since the PSA screening test came into use in 1986, federal government data show that the number of prostate cancer cases in the United States has risen substantially, said the report in the Aug. 31 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
- Taking Care Of Health Mineola NY
- Getting Rid of Blackheads Mineola NY
- Skin Health Tips Mineola NY
- Addiction Treatment Centers Mineola NY
- Colitis Attack Mineola NY
- Taking Care of Your Health Mineola NY
- Drug Rehab Centers Mineola NY
- Baby Care Products and Safety Mineola NY