Choosing Wisely near the end of life

Serious illness, especially in an older person, demands tough choices from patients, their families and their health-care providers. What’s more, it’s often difficult for people to find solid information and advice about those choices and their implications.

Thankfully, increased attention to end-of-life care is generating new resources to help patients and their caregivers make better-informed decisions. Here are a few we offer.

For caregivers helping an older or infirm person, the Choosing Wisely campaign has advice about how to talk with doctors about cancer treatments, kidney treatments, feeding tubes, sedatives, antipsychotics, antibiotics, and other tests and treatments.

For patients who need care focused on comfort and easing their symptoms, there is guidance from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

And for people facing clear end-of-life decisions, Consumer Reports has published “A Beautiful Death,” a story and video about the lessons to be learned from one man’s path.

All these resources have been very popular since they were published a few weeks ago. We recommend that you bookmark them now, for the day when they’re useful to someone you know.

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