A member asked:
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my dad in hospice has been on dialysis 4yrs. doctors say dialysis is no longer helpful, what does that mean? he says he wants to continue dialysis.

2 doctor answers
Dr. James Cain
35 years experience Nephrology and Dialysis
Tough decision: Hospice therapy centers upon comfort care. Dialysis is life sustaining. Usually the decision to stop dialysis and start hospice go together. One could argue that the dialysis provides relief from shortness of breath or edema, to say that dialysis is no longer helpful implies that these goals are unattainable. Stopping dialysis will not affect comfort in that case.
Answered on Apr 24, 2016
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Dr. Bates Moses
21 years experience Palliative Care
Talk more with docs: If i understand currently he has been on dialysis for 1 year and now just starting hospice (another diagnosis?). "no longer helpful" is very subjective (is it still able to remove fluid without dropping blood pressure; is he still able to function; etc.). It may also prolong suffering from another disease, only he knows how much he can handle, docs will know if the treatments can reach his goals.
Answered on Mar 3, 2013

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