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Seriously ill patients’ willingness to trade survival time to avoid high treatment intensity at the end of life

JAMA Internal Medicine April 6, 2020

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Research Areas

PAIR Center Research Team


Patients with serious illnesses are often asked whether they would prioritize relief of pain and suffering or longevity if these 2 goals were to come into conflict.1 A significant majority state that they would prioritize relief of pain and suffering.2 However, it is difficult for clinicians and family caregivers to operationalize such preferences without knowing the limits of these preferences or how much time alive patients would be willing to sacrifice in the service of their palliative goals. We sought to quantify trade-offs between survival time and avoidance of intensive care near the end of life among seriously ill hospitalized patients.