Research shows that most people facing a grave illness would choose improved quality of life over quantity of days when weighing treatment options. But unfortunately, patients consistently overestimate benefits and underestimate harms of medical tests and procedures. And too often physicians neglect to give full information about the pros and cons of various choices.
“American healthcare has a systemic problem,” said Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee. “Seriously ill people are on a conveyer belt. Doctors prescribe medical treatments with devastating side effects without verifying this is what the patient wants.”
So C&C is pleased to introduce the newest tool in our Truth in Treatment™ initiative, the Diagnosis Decoder™, which helps people ask better questions so they can receive clearer information and make fully informed treatment decisions. The companion Cancer Decoder™ has additional questions specific to that disease.
At DiagnosisDecoder.org, patients answer a few questions about their next medical appointment and then create a customizable list of productive, medically informed questions to bring to the visit. These questions give doctors permission to talk about the benefits and burdens of different tests and treatments, and to outline all options for the patient. The site also features a video that models how the tool can be used in a real-life setting as well as download worksheets to use before or during doctor visits.
Find more, including the doctor-patient relationship-building Trust Card, at www.TruthInTreatment.org.