alexa Spouse as health care proxy for dialysis patients: whose preferences matter?
Medicine

Medicine

General Medicine: Open Access

Author(s): Pruchno RA, Lemay EP, Feild L, Levinsky NG

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Purpose: We examined the extent to which the substituted judgments made by spouses of patients with end-stage renal disease actually reflect patient preferences. Design and Methods: We used data from 291 couples to compare dialysis patients' preferences for continuing hemodialysis under a variety of hypothetical situations with both substituted judgment data from spouses and information about spouses' own preferences. Results: Substituted judgments were more highly related to spouses' preferences than to patients' preferences. Implications: Findings raise questions about the extent to which the moral principle of patient autonomy should guide decision making at the end of life.

This article was published in Gerontologist and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access

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