Why do our patients get chemotherapy until the end of life?

Why are we not ceasing chemotherapy when it is useless, toxic, logistically complex and expensive? Medical oncologists have overly optimistic predictions and, sometimes excessive, treatment-prone attitude and they are criticized by other health care providers for this.

There is a growing culture of awareness toward preserving quality of life, palliative care, symptom-directed care, hospice referral and end-of-life issues regarding terminal cancer patients.

Whatever the motive, the reasons for administering chemotherapy at the end of life should be known. Striking a balance is not easy.

Medical decision making on ceasing systemic chemotherapy remains a very complex, intimate and subjective process.

What went wrong? Why did this young woman get chemotherapy until the end of life? Clearly because I failed. I hope I have learned the lesson.

Read more: http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/11/2345.full.pdf+html