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Do Doctors Ignore Patients Who Don't Want Aggressive Therapy?

Thu, 12 Jun 2014 11:16:13 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(STANFORD, Calif.) -- As much as we all dread thinking about our own deaths, what seems to be upsetting to many people as well is the thought of undergoing aggressive therapy when one is terminally ill.

Apparently, many physicians have also pondered that. A 2013 survey found that close to nine-in-ten doctors would choose a “no-code” or do-not-resuscitate orders for themselves.

However, a study by VJ Periyakoil from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that a majority of doctors are less inclined to give that same option to patients who might be at the end of their own lives.

In fact, Periyakoil says the attitude of doctors is basically unchanged over the past 25 years, that is, they seem to insist on using aggressive therapy even when over 80 percent of patients would rather avoid high-intensity care and long hospitalizations.

According to Periyakoil, “Patients’ voices are often too feeble and drowned out by the speed and intensity of a fragmented health-care system.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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