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Sussex Dysphagia Network

Doctors encouraged to talk about dying

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Which term do you currently use most often in your reports?

Exploring terminology currently used by SLTs for people eating and drinking... More ›
Exploring terminology currently used by SLTs for people eating and drinking at risk of choking, aspiration, and related chest infections. Less ›
Feeding at risk
Risk feeding
Comfort feeding
Eating and drinking at risk
Eating and drinking at accepted risk
Eating and drinking at acknowledged risk
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Doctors encouraged to talk about dying

A report from the Royal College of Physicians says doctors are too often reluctant to engage in conversations with patients about uncertainty, treatment ceilings, resuscitation status and death.

Access the report from the Royal College of Physicians here. It includes recommendations and myth-busting.

Key recommendations from the report:

  • Ask the patient if they would like to have the conversation and how much information they would want.
  • All healthcare professionals reviewing patients with chronic conditions, patients with more than one serious medical problem or terminal illness, should initiate shared decision making including advance care planning in line with patient preferences.
  • Conversations about the future can and should be initiated at any point. The conversation is a process not a tick-box, and does not have to reach a conclusion at one sitting.
  • Be aware of the language you use with patients and those they have identified as being important to them, and try to involve all the relevant people in agreement with the patient.