Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Letting Doctors Make the Tough Decisions

Excerpt from the 11 August New York Times article

…..When it came to medical decisions, almost all the respondents wanted their doctors to offer choices and consider their opinions. But a majority of patients — two out of three — also preferred that their doctors make the final decisions regarding their medical care.

“The data says decisively that most patients don’t want to make these decisions on their own” said Dr. Farr A. Curlin, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and one of the authors of the study.

The challenges appear to arise not when the medical choices are obvious, but when the best option for a patient is uncertain. In these situations, when doctors pass the burden of decision-making to a patient or family, it can exacerbate an already stressful situation. “If a physician with all of his or her clinical experience is feeling that much uncertainty,” Dr. Curlin said, “imagine what kind of serious anxiety and confusion the patient and family may be feeling.”

Patients and their families also often don’t realize that their doctors may be grappling with their own set of worries. …

Read the entire New York Times article

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August 13, 2011 - Posted by | Health News Items, Psychology | , , , , ,

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