Withdrawal from dialysis is not an uncommon cause of death for dialysis dependent patients. In Australia, withdrawal from treatment was recently reported as the cause for 26% of deaths of dialysis dependent patients, mostly aged over 80 years and in a very small number of cases, in younger patients who were very ill.
All patients have the right to receive or refuse life-prolonging treatment. The treating team have an ethical and legal obligation to acknowledge and honour those choices and advise on reasonable treatment options. When a patient has been adequately informed and understands the consequences, withdrawal from life-sustaining treatment such as dialysis is a medically, ethically and legally acceptable choice.
Dialysis is a treatment that does some of the things done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body's needs.
When is dialysis needed?
You need dialysis when you develop end stage kidney failure --usually by the time you lose about 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function and have a GFR of <15.
How long will people live on dialysis?
Some studies showed that the average life span of people on dialysis is five years. According to the statistics from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, the rate of survivor is 80% in one year, 64% in two years, 33% in five years and 10% through 10 years.
Nevertheless, there’s no specific number for one individual, because various influencing factors would appear and impact directly one’s longevity.
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