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Why end-stage renal patients choose not to have dialysis

Noble, H., Meyer, J., Bridges, J., Kelly, Daniel M. and Johnson, B. 2008. Why end-stage renal patients choose not to have dialysis. End of Life Care 2 (4) , pp. 41-45.

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End-stage renal disease will result in death if it is not treated with dialysis. However, some patients decide not to embark on dialysis. The reasons for this are unclear. Factors such as general ill health, frailty and pre-existing co-morbidities may hinder the success of dialysis and make the intervention unlikely to prolong life. This review examines the literature concerned with the decision not to have dialysis. It highlights a lack of evidence to inform practice, with only three papers available worldwide relating to the decision not to have dialysis. Themes uncovered include: age and quality of life; desire not to be a burden; and doctor/patient issues such as prognostic uncertainty and a sense of abandonment. There is an urgent need for more research in this area so reasons why patients decide not to embark on dialysis is more fully understood. Although specific to renal patients, this article has relevance for all nurses caring for patients deciding not to undergo ‘life-saving’ treatment. In the case of dialysis, it is often debatable whether or not the treatment will be successful.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
ISSN: 2047-6361
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2018 08:36

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