End of Life Care

Nov 1, 2008 Issue
ACP Releases Recommendations for Palliative Care at the End of Life [Practice Guidelines]

The Clinical Efficiency Assessment Subcommittee of the American College of Physicians (ACP) has released guidelines to improve palliative care for patients with seriously disabling or symptomatic chronic conditions at the end of life.

Mar 15, 2008 Issue
The Role of the Family Physician in the Referral and Management of Hospice Patients [Article]

Hospice is available for any patient who is terminally ill and chooses a palliative care approach. Because of the close relationship that primary care physicians often have with their patients, they are in a unique position to provide end-of-life care, which includes recognizing the need for and rec...

Jan 15, 2008 Issue
End-of-Life Care: Guidelines for Patient-Centered Communication [Article]

When patients are diagnosed with cancer, primary care physicians often must deliver the bad news, discuss the prognosis, and make appropriate referrals. When delivering bad news, it is important to prioritize the key points that the patient should retain. Physicians should assess the patient's emoti...

Jun 1, 2006 Issue
Determining Prognoses for Patients with Terminal Illnesses [Curbside Consultation]

Physicians often overestimate a terminal patient's life expectancy.

Mar 15, 2006 Issue
Guidelines for Delivering Quality Palliative Care [Practice Guidelines]

The National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care (NCP), representing five major U.S. palliative care organizations, has established guidelines to promote consistent and high-quality palliative care and to guide the structure and development of existing services.

Oct 1, 2005 Issue
Respecting End-of-Life Treatment Preferences [Article]

Most patients eventually must face the process of planning for their future medical care. However, few Americans have a living will or a durable power of attorney for health care. Although advance directives provide a legal basis for physicians to carry out treatment using a health care proxy or a l...

Feb 1, 2005 Issue
Cultural Diversity at the End of Life: Issues and Guidelines for Family Physicians [Article]

Ethnic minorities currently compose approximately one third of the population of the United States. The U.S. model of health care, which values autonomy in medical decision making, is not easily applied to members of some racial or ethnic groups. Cultural factors strongly influence patients' reactio...

Aug 15, 2004 Issue
Making Decisions with Families at the End of Life [Article]

Because advance directives are not yet the norm, end-of-life decisions for patients without medical decision-making capacity are made regularly within discussions between the patient's physician and family. Communication and decision making in these situations require a complex integration of releva...

May 1, 2003 Issue
Do I Have to Resuscitate This Patient Against Her Wishes? [Curbside Consultation]

In this case scenario, the family physician successfully performed a task that often is forgotten during physician-patient visits—the physician frequently discussed with this patient her wishes for end-of-life care. The conversations specifically included her thoughts about respirators, CPR, and other potential life-prolonging treatments.

Dec 15, 2001 Issue
Breaking Bad News [Article]

Breaking bad news is one of a physician's most difficult duties, yet medical education typically offers little formal preparation for this daunting task. Without proper training, the discomfort and uncertainty associated with breaking bad news may lead physicians to emotionally disengage from patien...

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