Who makes decisions for the terminally ill and pain management at end-of-life? When requested, doctors make decisions for terminally ill patients for them to be treated with aggressive final treatments. A Rutgers study suggests that dying patients accept treatments that can be aggressive or experimental no matter how the treatments impact quality of life. According to the study that was published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management that examines how physicians and patient’s beliefs and attitudes affect end-of-life treatments.

More Education is Needed

The findings of the study make clear that there needs to be more education when it comes to aggressive treatments and end-of-life care. Some doctors seem quite comfortable to take over decision-making for their end-of-life terminal patients. It was surprising to find that when physicians take over decision-making, patients are more likely to receive aggressive treatments at the end-of-life. A result of this is that patients end up in emergency rooms or intensive care units right prior to death, when they would rather die at home.

Terminally Ill and Pain Management

There have been several studies that look at doctor’s attitudes; however, there have not been many that examine doctor’s thoughts and feelings and how they impact end-of-life care. Doctors need to be sensitive that patient’s who are close to death receive the needed emotional support in a timely manner. Improved communication with patients and familes would have a positive impact.

The Psychology of Death and Dying

The findings of the study showed that we need to improve education for doctors in reference to the psychology of death and dying, and the public on the benefit palliative care and advanced disease care for patients and their families. Doctors, end-of-life patients and their families, all need to increase awareness when it comes to the terminally ill and pain management issues.

Call Us Text Us
Skip to content