'Too much medical tinkering with old people'

8th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Doctors subject patients to too much medical treatment instead of helping them find a proper balance.

Geriatrician Joris Slaets made the above statement in an interview with national quality newspaper NRC Handelsblad. He argues that elderly patients are sent from one specialist to the other without getting any better or any happier.

Dr Slaets says doctors should ask elderly patients about their wishes in the final phase of their lives and, even more important, they should ask them what they don’t want. Doing so could prevent expensive and often pointless treatments.

In a reaction in NRC Handelsblad, Public Health Minister Edith Schippers said she agreed with Dr Slaets: “You have to consider whether continued treatment would add anything to the quality of life.”

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