Cancer Patients Not Too Distressed by Advanced Directives

A study conducted at the humanities and medicine departments at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, found that there's never an ideal time to talk to cancer patients about end-of-life decisions, and most patients are not too disturbed by these discussions.

For a small group of advanced cancer patients, using an online tool for learning about end-of-life medical decisions and developing an advance directive document did not lead to psychological distress, according to a new study.

“One thing we noticed is that many patients with advanced cancer had not had these conversations,” said lead author Dr. Michael J. Green of the humanities and medicine departments at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“When we talked to the oncologists about it, a response we heard again and again is, ‘it’s not appropriate at this time, it’s going to make them anxious, take away their hope’,” Green told Reuters Health.

Read the complete report on Reuters: http://reut.rs/1KiT9sK