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End-of-Life Care: The Influence of Physicians’ Language

End-of-Life Care: The Influence of Physicians’ Language

In our blog post, “The Importance of Language,” a few weeks back, we talked about the role language plays in influencing decisions about end-of-life care and treatment options. One thing we looked at in particular was euphemisms used to describe death. Instead of telling patients or loved ones that they are dying, physicians tend to use the word “critically ill,” or that the patient is “failing to respond.”

What the study does not examine however, is the effect that a physician’s language can have on a patient decision. In a simulation at the University of Pittsburgh, researchers examined how physician communication affected end-of-life decisions.

In the video stimulation, 252 people where were health care surrogates for parents or spouses went through “discussions” with doctors about end-of-life care. In the hypothetical case, they listened to the doctor say various things and then decided CPR or DNR. Despite the low odds of survival, most chose CPR, despite the low odds of survival.

There were two distinct things that mattered. One, was what other people chose; when the doctor says in his experience, most people want CPR, 64% of participants chose CPR. When the doctor didn’t provide personal experiential information, the number dropped to 48%.

The second thing that mattered was using the phrase “allow a natural death.” When the doctor used the phrase “do not resuscitate,” 61 percent asked that CPR be performed. However, only 49 percent of participants chose CPR when the doctor asked them if they would like to “allow a natural death.”

From the physician’s perspective, the phrase was deemed too vague for their comfort. It is a balancing act between the family’s comfort and importance of accurately presenting a delicate, emotionally wrought decision so the highest quality of life is preserved for the patient.

At K&B Underwriters, our mission goes well beyond providing insurance solutions required to protect senior living facilities in the event of an injury, damage, or loss. As a national program administrator, we are known for our innovative solutions specifically designed for assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities. Our goal is to identify enterprise risks and chart the best route to navigate through a litigious, highly regulated, and always shifting environment. Contact us today for more information about our Independent Living Facilities Insurance (855) 883-6306.

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Kbunderwriters
Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance

 
Kbunderwriters
Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance