Physicians unhappy with palliative care act

Share this article:
New York State's Palliative Care Information Act, which was passed last summer and implemented in February, is meeting resistance from doctors who treat patients at the end of their life.
 
The law was created to help terminally ill patients get more information about their end-of-life options, such as palliative and hospice care, and it requires physicians to provide this information, according to The New York Times. The law's advocates say the policy helps lower costs and prevents patients and their families from pursuing aggressive or experimental treatments that have little chance of helping. California passed a similar law in 2009.
 
But physicians say the policy intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship, according to an editorial printed in the May issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Some doctors say their patients interpret it to mean that the healthcare system wants them to die sooner.
 
However, proponents of the law say it actually is intended to make a patient's end-of-life days emotionally and physically less painful. The patient can choose palliative care over measures such as feeding tubes or ventilators, the Times stated. Typically, hospice and palliative efforts are designed to treat pain and anxiety. Some studies show that palliative care often extends life, whereas side effects from treatments such as chemotherapy can make patients even sicker.
Share this article:

More in News

Proposed managed care rule could accelerate shift away from nursing home care, official suggests

Proposed managed care rule could accelerate shift away ...

Proposed regulations slated for early 2015 likely will affect how Medicaid managed care balances home- versus facility-based long-term care, news sources reported Wednesday.

Assisted living residents say 'homelike' setting not so important

Contrary to conventional wisdom, assisted living residents might not place a high value on how "homelike" their surroundings are, suggest findings out of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.

Adjust residents' hearing aids before they listen to music, researcher advises

Nursing home residents might get more enjoyment and therapeutic value out of music if they change hearing aid settings, recently published findings suggest.