At patients’ end of life, surrogates are frequently called upon to make health care decisions for patients who lose capacity. Numerous studies have demonstrated that these surrogates lack knowledge of patients’ preferences,1 but patients cite the belief that their loved ones already know their wishes as a reason for not engaging in advance care planning (ACP).2 Little is known about how prepared surrogates feel to make decisions on behalf of loved ones. Similar to patients, if surrogates already believe that they know their loved ones’ wishes, they may not see the need to engage in ACP. Through telephone interviews, we examined surrogates’ confidence in their knowledge of patients’ treatment goals and their actual knowledge of these goals.
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Fried TR, Zenoni M, Iannone L, O’Leary JR. Assessment of Surrogates’ Knowledge of Patients’ Treatment Goals and Confidence in Their Ability to Make Surrogate Treatment Decisions. JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 26, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5299
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