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Doctors Pressured by Family Members to Overtreat

Posted Mar 22 2009 3:39pm
In theNY Time sthis week, Jane Brody wrote:  "elderly cancer patients are overtreated despite the likelihood of life-threatening complications, because doctors fear being accused of giving up or are pressured by family members to provide therapy that is medically inappropriate."
What enables family members to "pressure" a physician?  Thethreat of litigation, made credible by the uncertainty concerning the duty to provide surrogate-requested treatment judged medically inappropriate.  (Pope & Waldman 2007)
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