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Document Typology: Web Article
Methodology addressed by the publication:Narrative medicine
Title of document: Caring for dying patients
Name of author(s):
Name of publisher:
Language of the publication: Romanian
Language of the review: English
In the last days of their life patients will receive treatments for controlling and improving symptoms. These types of treatments are referred to palliative care.
It is recommended that people who are at the end of life, to make many important decisions as long as they are active and can communicate their wishes about the way in which they will be cared at the end of life. Making plans in advance can help patients spending precious time with their loved ones. These instructions may include a will, a medical power of attorney, a decision to donate organs.
When someone is diagnosed with an incurable disease, is difficult to know whether he should focus on curative treatment or on trying to extend his life through the palliative treatment which aims to alleviate the physical pain and to maintain comfort. Factors such as the type of disease, the treatment options or age and other associated disorders may have an impact on decisions about the type of the desired care.
Communication with doctors is very important when there is a diagnosis of a terminal illness. It is recommended to inform about the disease, and in case of doubts, it is necessary to ask the doctor all questions needed. The best way to avoid an unwanted medical treatment at the end of life is to establish whether a treatment is desired or not by the patients, who must communicate their thoughts clearly and directly and to record their wishes by writing in a document .
In some cases the medical treatment to sustain life can be aggressive and the patient must know the opinion of the doctor and the relatives about these treatments, the article presents some of them: cardiopulmonary resuscitation, renal dialysis, artificial nutrition and hydration.
The decision about the place where the patients want to receive health care while the disease progresses can be difficult, but a plan made in present for care, can reduce anxiety later. These instructions include home health care, asylum, home health care assisted by a nurse or maintaining life artificially.
Article also discusses issues related to signs of death, autopsy, complaint of a loved one, spirituality.
Reviewer's comments on the document:
The article presents the importance of care for patients with incurable diseases, in the terminal stages. It emphasizes the importance of expressing the written will of the patient, when they are still active, so their care will be done according to their desires, to reduce their anxiety.
The article notes how important is this aspect in the situations when it is needed more aggressive medical treatments that can affect the patient's psyche.
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