Do Terminally Ill Patients Receive Sufficient Information From The Health Care Providers Regarding The End Of Life Decisions?

Do Terminally Ill Patients Receive Sufficient Information From The Health Care Providers Regarding The End Of Life Decisions?
Introduction

Dying people and their families are often faced with the challenge of making decisions including several choices that may be spiritual, legal, medical or psychosocial in nature. For instance, the dying individuals and their respective families are supposed to make decisions regarding the setting of treatment, whether home or institutionalized, and the form of caregiver help they require. In addition, dying individuals must make decisions regarding the desired level of the involvement of the family with respect to decision making and care giving. Terminally ill patients also undertake legal decisions in relation to their wills, powers of their attorneys, and any advanced directives (Spettell, et al., 2009). There are various end-of-life decisions and tasks that terminally ill patients make as they advance towards the end of their lives. All end of life decisions including medical decisions comprise of complex psychosocial elements, outcomes and ramifications that are likely to impose a considerable effect on standards of suffering, living and dying. Nevertheless, terminally ill patients and caregivers face a significant challenge when making medical end-of-life decisions. These decisions should take into consideration the beliefs and values of the persons dying and their respective families, and the terms of relief from suffering. However, in most cases, the medical care system may have core values that are different from the values of the dying individual (Steinhauser, Alexander, Byock, George, & Tulsky, 2009). This denotes the significance of healthcare providers offering sufficient information to terminally ill patients regarding end-of-life decisions. This paper reviews existing literature on whether terminally ill patients receive adequate information from healthcare providers regarding end-of-life decisions.


 

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