When asked how much they were willing to pay to improve end-of-life experiences, caregivers had a three-fold greater willingness to pay than stage IV cancer patients to extend life by one year. (Credit: iStockphoto)
“People with stage IV cancer are less willing to pay for another year of life than they are to die at home or avoid severe pain—and are only slightly more willing to pay more to receive a high-quality health-care experience.
“The findings suggest that there may be too much emphasis on life-extending treatments, researchers say.
“Patients with advanced cancer or other life limiting illnesses often have to consider how much money they are willing to spend on high cost treatments that result in only moderate improvements in length or quality of life.
“Past research has shown that in addition to extending life, being free of pain and dying at home are important considerations for people nearing the end of their lives. However, the value that patients place on these considerations or their willingness to pay for either has not been known.
“For a new study, published in the journal Palliative Medicine, researchers surveyed 211 patients with stage IV cancer and their informal caregivers to find out more about their end-of-life preferences.”
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