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Invited Commentary
July 2015

Decision Aids in Serious Illness: Moving What Works Into Practice

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2Duke Palliative Care, Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(7):1221-1222. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.1702

Shared decision making is often challenging and never entirely rational.1 Even seemingly simple decisions, such as taking antibiotics for an upper respiratory tract infection or repairing a fractured bone, may encompass trade-offs, are influenced by cognitive biases, and can be clouded by emotion. Serious illness amplifies these biases and their effects. Decision making is even more complicated in the setting of advance care planning, when patients are trying to decide for their future selves rather than their current selves.

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