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Computer predicts wishes of incapacitated patients better than family or loved ones

e doctor to do?"

Analysis of 16 such studies reveals that surrogates accurately predict patients' treatment preferences about 68% of the time. In comparison, Dr Wendler and colleagues found that a preliminary computer-based decision tool predicted the patient's treatment preferences with the same accuracy, and improved decisions tools undoubtedly would be more accurate than surrogates.

Important questions remain, say the authors, about how treatment decisions should be made on behalf of incapacitated patients: "Do patients care more about who makes decisions for them, or what decisions are made? Does making end-of-life treatment decisions benefit or burden families and loved ones overall?"


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Contact: Andrew Hyde
press@plos.org
122-346-3330
Public Library of Science
12-Mar-2007


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