Terminal Illness and Discussing Death

Terminal Illness and Discussing Death

Terminally ill patients may be better off discussing death with their doctors. A study of 322 terminally ill cancer patients finds those who had discussions with their doctors about their impending deaths received less aggressive medical care and had a better quality of life in their remaining days. Discussing their deaths with their doctors did not cause patients to be more psychologically distressed. It did result in lower rates of resuscitation and intensive care visits. Patients who talked with their doctors about their deaths entered hospice sooner and had a better overall quality of life.

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