There is an opportunity for targeted interventions for all older patients, especially frail older adults, undergoing emergency general surgery to establish better prognostic understanding and discuss advance care planning before hospital discharge.
Clinicians must be careful about imposing medical staff priorities over patients’ priorities. Making presumptions is dangerous. Ethicists can help by explaining the provider’s responsibility to offer accurate information.
Minority patients receive more aggressive end-of-life interventions than white patients, according to the authors of a recent study. The answer has to do, in part, with the history of maltreatment of vulnerable populations. Some minority patients, or their family members, have been the recipients of substandard medical care.