P. 9

Ending dialysis treatment

          The process of deciding to stop dialysis            When you have been adequately informed and
          treatment is complex as there are many              understand the consequences of your actions,
          difficult things to consider and think through.     it is medically, ethically and legally acceptable
                                                              for you to choose to withdraw from a life
                                                              sustaining treatment such as dialysis.

                                When you choose to end dialysis treatment

        If you feel that stopping         If you are not depressed or you      treatment, this decision will also
        dialysis is the right choice for  don't have another mental            be respected. The guiding
        you, you should tell your         illness, your decision to end        principle is to make sure your
        family or any member of your      dialysis treatment will be           medical and other care needs are
        medical and nursing team.         respected. If you later change       met while maintaining your
        This will open discussion on      your mind and decide to continue     comfort and dignity.
        the implications of your
        decision to stop.

        If members of your
        healthcare team are
        concerned that your request
        to stop dialysis may be due to
        emotional or social issues,
        they will recommend a
        consultation with a
        psychiatrist. The psychiatrist
        will assess your emotional
        state and social
        circumstances to see if you
        have an undiagnosed or
        untreated depression, or
        other distressing emotional
        or social problems that can be       When your doctor and medical team recommend
        addressed.                                       dialysis treatment should end
                                           Sometimes your renal team may advise you that your dialysis
        Treatment and counselling          treatment is no longer helping you and should stop. This may happen
        for mental health and other        if your health has got much worse due to other serious medical
        personal matters may give          conditions and your doctors do not expect you to recover or your
        you a more positive outlook        quality of life to improve. In such circumstances, dialysis will not
        on life and help you decide to     improve your health and going through dialysis treatment may even
        continue your dialysis             worsen your health and quality of life.

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