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:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based ... experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... PLAINSBORO, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... same sources, yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, ... Oncology (EBO), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect ... a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels to ... ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX users ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal ... personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems ... offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes ... Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , ... advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay ... Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne ... Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of ... Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or ... protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems ... "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical devices and ... , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply ... Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s ... strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: