I’ve heard different terms for not receiving dialysis. What do they mean?
You may have heard of stopping or not starting dialysis. This is also called “conservative care” or “medical management.” This type of care can meet different goals depending on your specific needs and overall health. It can involve managing symptoms with certain medicines and diet. This approach is also known as “palliative care.”
What is palliative care?
Managing symptoms with medicine and diet is also known as “palliative care,” which is care that aims to increase quality of life by decreasing pain or other symptoms. Palliative care is usually not used to cure a disease, but to keep the patient comfortable and as active as possible.
What else should I know about palliative care?
Palliative care is team-based medical care for people living with serious illnesses, such as kidney disease. The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and their families by treating the pain, symptoms and emotional stress of the illness, and providing important support for making decisions.
Palliative care can be used by people who wish to carefully manage their disease without dialysis. It can also be used by people who have chosen to start or remain on dialysis.
Some of the goals of palliative care are to manage pain and other conditions related to kidney disease; help you coordinate your care; and help you cope with worry, pain or depression.
Learn more about palliative care:
- How Does Palliative Care Improve the Quality of Life for Kidney Patients?
- Palliative Care Helps Patients with Kidney Disease
What if I choose to stop or not start dialysis?
Can I really choose to stop or not start dialysis?
- If You Choose Not to Start Dialysis Treatment
- When Stopping Dialysis Treatment Is Your Choice: A Guide for Patients and Their Families