Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Living wills are poor predictors of actual treatment preferences at the end of life

Date:
May 19, 2010
Source:
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Summary:
Living wills often do not represent a patient's actual treatment preferences when faced with real end-of-life circumstances and should be redesigned to guide more realistic advance decision-making, according to a new study.

Living wills often do not represent a patient's actual treatment preferences when faced with real end-of-life circumstances and should be redesigned to guide more realistic advance decision-making, according to a study published in Journal of Palliative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc..

Related Articles


"Ask a Different Question, Get a Different Answer: Why Living Wills are Poor Guides to Care Preferences at the End of Life" is the title of a study designed to assess how closely responses to questions on a standard living will represent an individual's preferences for end-of-life care in six different scenarios. Laraine Winter, PhD, Susan Parks, MD, and James Diamond, PhD, from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, surveyed 202 men and women 70 years of age or older and asked them whether they would want life-sustaining treatments to be withheld if they served only to prolong the process of dying, a standard question on a living will. They then asked the study participants to predict their preferences for receiving four specific treatments in six end-of-life scenarios.

The results demonstrated that although there was some association between the living will response and treatment preferences in the six scenarios, these associations were relatively weak. The authors suggest that the hypothetical end-of-life scenario presented in the standard living will is often quite different than the circumstances patients will actually face, which accounts at least in part for the weak link between their responses on the living will and their treatment preferences. The authors propose substituting in the living will scenarios that more closely approximate what people are likely to experience and including estimates of how effective specific treatment options would be in sustaining life to help guide advance care decisions.

"It is so important to move the field of advance care planning forward," says Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Palliative Medicine, and Provost, Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice. Further, he says, "This should form the basis for innovative new approaches for help in decision-making."

Journal of Palliative Medicine is the official journal of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and an official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Winter et al. Ask a Different Question, Get a Different Answer: Why Living Wills are Poor Guides to Care Preferences at the End of Life. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2010; 100409045250064 DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2009.0311

Cite This Page:

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Living wills are poor predictors of actual treatment preferences at the end of life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519121645.htm>.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. (2010, May 19). Living wills are poor predictors of actual treatment preferences at the end of life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519121645.htm
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Living wills are poor predictors of actual treatment preferences at the end of life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519121645.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Americans Drink More in the Winter

Americans Drink More in the Winter

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) The BACtrack breathalyzer app analyzed Americans' blood alcohol content and found out a whole lot of interesting things about their drinking habits. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins