Intended for healthcare professionals


Older Americans hold on to life dearly

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 29 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1206
  1. Randall McShine, fellow of geriatrics.,
  2. Gerson T Lesser, assistant professor of geriatrics. (,
  3. Antonios Likourezos, research associate
  1. Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Jewish Home and Hospital, 120 West 106th Street, New York, NY 10025, USA

    EDITOR—The study of Salkeld et al in Australia of the choices of older patients in hypothetical illness scenarios is particularly pertinent to those of us dealing with patients in nursing homes.1 We are struck by the contrasting attitudes and expectations of the elderly patients with whom we are in daily contact. In our experience, most older Americans hold on to life very dearly and usually opt for even noxious treatments, such as chemotherapy, to gain a few months or years of …

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