Most Advance Directives Written by Patients With Advanced Cancer or Their Proxies Request Only Minimally Invasive Treatments During End-of-Life Care

American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine
Although it is assumed that most patients with terminal cancer are reluctant to receive life-sustaining treatment, there is a paucity of evidence supporting this assumption. We retrospectively analyzed the advance directives of terminal cancer patients to determine the preferences of patients. Patients with cancer who had life expectancy of less than 6 months were admitted to a palliative care unit in Seoul Medical Center from March 2008 to February 2010. Among a total of 247 patients, advance directives were present in the medical records of 168 patients (68.0%). Most of the advance directives were written by the patients’ families (95.2%) and they stated that they did not want most of the invasive procedures. Patients with advanced cancer mostly requested that only minimally invasive treatments that eased suffering be performed. doi: 10.1177/1049909111435811 AM J HOSP PALLIAT CARE February 23, 2012
Soo Hoon Kwon, MD, et al Email