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New Survey Indicates Frequency, Reasons for Medical Futility Disputes

Posted Nov 24 2011 9:47am
Earlier this month, the Regence Foundation polled 500 board-certified physicians on behalf of National Journal.  The results of the "Living Well at the End of Life Poll" are available  here .  Questions 26 and 27 are particularly relevant to medical futility. 

26.  From your experience, how often do patients and their families reject your recommendation to discontinue curative treatment in favor of palliative care?
66% Regularly / Occasionally 34% Infrequently / Never 
27. What reasons have patients and their families given for rejecting your recommendation to discontinue curative treatment in favor of palliative care? 75% Unwillingness to accept that curative treatment was ineffective 74% Disagreement from family members about discontinuing curative treatment 63% Preference for more aggressive curative treatment options 42% Religious hesitations or objections 37% Disagreement with the diagnosis or wanted a second opinion 1% Other


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