Physicians Want More Palliative Care Despite Barriers
A new poll shows that doctors believe that quality of life for dying patients is more important than working to extend that patient's life for as long as possible.
National Journal: Doctors Value Quality, Not Quantity, At Life's End, Poll Shows
Virtually all doctors believe it's more important to alleviate suffering when someone is dying than to extend their life a little bit, according to a poll released by National Journal on Tuesday. The poll of 500 board-certified physicians shows that 96 percent think quality of life for dying patients is more important than ensuring they live as long as possible. A similar number say the medical system needs to place a higher priority on easing the symptoms of patients if that's what they want. Those results, rolled out at a National Journal Live event, show a contrast between doctors' views and those of patients about palliative care at the end of life. In a February National Journal poll, a smaller majority — 71 percent — of the general public who were asked the same question agreed with the doctors (Sanger-Katz, 11/15).
Kaiser Health News: Physicians Push For More Palliative Care Despite Barriers
A poll released Tuesday found that an overwhelming majority of doctors support palliative care, with 96 percent responding that they believe enhancing the quality of life for seriously ill patients is more important than extending life as long as possible. Despite these sentiments, many physicians responded that they have some hesitations about palliative care and that there are barriers to its full adoption (Marcy, 11/15).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: End-Of-Life Documents Not A Huge Concern For Many Boomers
Most people don't want to think about death, much less plan for it — especially when they feel healthy and young in their middle-age years. And that, some baby boomers say, is one of the big reasons so few of them have end-of-life legal documents such as a living will. An Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com poll found that 64 percent of boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — say they don't have a health care proxy or living will. Those documents would guide medical decisions should a patient be unable to communicate with doctors (Kerr, 11/16).