When medicine can’t offer a cure, let our elderly die with dignity

Australian medical researchers call for restraint on use of aggressive treatments for elderly people near the end of their natural lives

A study, published in the Joint commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, has shown that 40% of 80+ year-olds are subjected to aggressive emergency procedures in hospital.

The study, led by Associate Professor Magnolia Cardona, PhD, MPH from Bond University’s Centre for Research in Evidence Based Practice (CREBP) on the Gold Coast, reviewed the medical records of 733 admitted patients who received calls for medical emergency teams during hospitalisation. The median age was 68 years, but a third were more than 80 years.

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