Navigation Links
Study shows false memories complicate end-of-life treatment decisions
Date:4/25/2008

Irvine, Calif., April 25, 2008 -- Advance directives, or living wills, may not effectively honor end-of-life wishes because life-sustaining treatment preferences often change without people being aware of the changes, according to a new study co-authored by UC Irvine researchers Peter Ditto and Elizabeth Loftus.

False memories can play a significant role in the discrepancy between an individual's true preferences for end-of-life treatment and what is instructed in their living will. Life-sustaining treatment preferences often change as people age or experience new health problems, and advance directive forms typically remind people of their right to update their directives if their wishes change. This assumes that people recognize when their wishes about end-of-life treatment have changed, and remember that their current wishes are different from those documented in their living will.

"Living wills are a noble idea and can often be very helpful in decisions that must be made near the end of life. But the notion that you can just fill out a document and all your troubles will be solved, a notion that is frequently reinforced in the popular media, is seriously misguided," said Peter Ditto, professor of psychology and social behavior at UCI.

In research reported in the current issue of the American Psychological Association journal Health Psychology, a sample of 401 adults older than 65 were interviewed about which life-sustaining treatments they would want if they were seriously ill. They were interviewed again 12 months later to test their recall of earlier decisions. About one-third of participants changed their wishes regarding medical treatment such as CPR and "tube feeding" over the course of the year, and in 75 percent of these cases, participants falsely remembered that their original views on the issues matched their new ones.

Interviewers also talked to individuals empowered to make medical decisions if the study subjects were no longer able. These potential surrogate decision makers were even less sensitive to changes in their loved one's wishes, showing false memories in 86 percent of cases.

"On a policy level, these results suggest that living wills should have an 'expiration date.' People can't be counted upon to update their directives as their wishes change because they often have no awareness that their wishes have changed," Ditto said. "On a more personal level, our research stresses the importance of maintaining an ongoing dialogue among individuals, their families and their physicians about end-of-life treatment options," he continued.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Rico
lrico@uci.edu
949-824-9055
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study shows common vitamin and other micronutrient supplements reduce risks of TB recurrence
2. Minimally invasive pancreas surgery leads to fewer complications, study finds
3. Study breaks ground in revealing how neurons generate movement
4. Study Details New Molecular Approach to Preventing Alzheimers
5. NSF awards $1.5M for study of in-home health care via wireless networks
6. Study shows positive findings in treating patients with advanced hepatitis C
7. Study finds racial disparities in smoking cessation treatment
8. Antipodean Pharmaceuticals Announces Results of Phase 2 Study of Lead Compound MitoQ(R)
9. Harvard Business School Publishes a Case Study on Robert Wessman and Actavis
10. Study finds that competency in colonoscopy requires experience with 150 cases or more
11. Study finds cisplatin less effective than standard treatment for patients with anal cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... (USSOCOM) awarded Task Force Dagger Foundation the US Special Operations Command’s Patriot Award. ... the presentation, General Thomas thanked Task Force Dagger Foundation for its significant and ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... The Boulevard is honored to host Shriners and ... will be located in the Main West Entrance of The Boulevard (in front of ... appointment is necessary and each child with a parent or guardian will be photographed ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... DC (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... News ... Dental Choice has helped score a major victory in Europe for public health and ... , Based on rigorous scientific research and the overwhelming support of European ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... , ... “Wounded Woman Be Ye Healed-Passing On A Legacy”: a call to ... the creation of published author, Desiree M Webb, a registered nurse, minister of music, ... happily married to her husband, Paul, for over twenty-nine years. Desiree enjoys writing, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Ogden Clinic, the largest multi-specialty ... payment system, to expand its focus on patient care by providing an advanced ... , “At Ogden Clinic, we are working to become a different type of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... SAO PAULO , March 23, 2017 ... accordance with article 157, paragraph 4 of Law 6,404/76 ... Commission (CVM), hereby informs its shareholders and the market ... jointly with its subsidiary Centro de Diagnosticos por Imagem ... acquisition of 100% interest in RADIOLOGISTAS ASSOCIADOS LTDA. (" ...
(Date:3/23/2017)...  A new genetic test has been discovered ... who carry HLA-B*15:02 and who are ... deadly side effect of certain medications used to ... HLA-B*15:02 is strongly associated with life-threatening severe ... toxic epidermal necrolysis in patients treated with carbamazepine ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 On Wednesday, ... trading session at 5,821.64, up 0.48%; the Dow ... at 20,661.30; and the S&P 500 closed at ... as six out of nine sectors ended the ... reports coverage on the following Medical Instruments & ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: