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Does Texas Futile Care Law CAUSE Patients and Surrogates to Demand more Treatment?

Posted Mar 29 2009 3:39pm
A study inlast week's JAMAconcludes that cancer patients who heavily rely on religion to cope with dying may be more likely to receive aggressive medical care during the last week of life.
In aSan Francisco newspapertoday,Kate Scannellobserves that "the vast majority of high scorers — 78 percent — were recruited from Texas. That's important because Texas is the lone state that lawfully permits doctors (after consultation with ethics committees) to discontinue medical care they judge to be ineffective, even against the patient's and family's wishes."
Scannell suggests:  "It's certainly conceivable that dying patients receiving care in those institutions might make unique medical decisions that fend against the perceived threat of being denied care. Apart from any religious influence, they may opt for more medical care in defensiveness or distrust."
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