Third of elderly patients receive ‘futile treatment’ in their final weeks
Researchers said families are part of the problem – with some struggling to accept that nothing more can be done for their loved ones.
Instead, they expect “heroic” interventions from doctors, the biggest study of its kind found.
The worldwide review involved ten countries – including England – and also looked at the experiences of bereaved families and doctors.
It found around a third of elderly patients with advanced, irreversible conditions – such as cancer – were given treatments that were of no benefit to them.
This included a third of cancer patients given chemotherapy in the last six weeks of life and 10 per cent of all patients admitted to intensive care.
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