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Patients Dying of Cancer Need Talks About Care, Dartmouth Says

Patients dying from cancer don’t receive enough information about end-of-life options at many U.S. hospitals to decide on their own when to end aggressive medical care, a Dartmouth College report suggests.

The university’s Dartmouth Atlas Project compared records of 235,821 patients with national surveys that show many people don’t want aggressive care at the end of their lives, preferring to die at home with their pain controlled. The analysis of the medical records showed no evidence that the preferences were reflected in the treatments given, including chemotherapy and life-sustaining treatments such as feeding tubes.