Aussie doctors create death checklist


21 Jan 2015

Australian doctors have devised a 29 item checklist that they say predicts the likelihood of death in the elderly.

The aim of the list is to kick-start frank discussions about end of life care, and minimise the risk of further futile treatment, say the authors from The Simpson Centre for Health Sciences Research in NSW.

“Delaying unavoidable death contributes to unsustainable and escalating healthcare costs, despite aggressive and expensive interventions,” they write.  “These interventions may not influence patient outcome; often do not improve the patient’s quality of life; may compromise bereavement outcomes for families; and cause frustration for health professionals,” they wrote in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.

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