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Medical News & Perspectives
January 20, 2015

End-of-Life Medications Draw More Attention, Greater Scrutiny

JAMA. 2015;313(3):231-233. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.17360

It wasn’t a popular idea at the outset. Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, and her colleagues suggested a decade ago that patients nearing the end of life could stop at least some of their medications. But their attempts to publish material on the subject initially met with resistance. “There was great angst among reviewers about medication discontinuation of any kind,” she said of a commentary they eventually published in BMJ (Stevenson J et al. BMJ. 2004;329[7471]:909-912). “They felt it would be equivalent to saying to a patient, ‘You’re not worthy to be on this medication.’”