End-of-life conversations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

End-of-life conversations

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It's a conversation doctors certainly don't enjoy having -- helping a terminally ill patient prepare for their death.

And new research finds most physicians delay that talk if the patient still feels well.

National guidelines recommend doctors discuss end of life options with patients who have less than a year to live.

But a Harvard study of about four-thousand cancer specialists found fewer than half choose to discuss resuscitation preferences, hospice or where the patient wants to die -- as long as the patient feels well.

Most prefer wait until the patient feels worse or there are no further treatment options.

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