Patients who lose decision-making capacity and lack advance directives and next of kin present a quandary for physicians. Current mechanisms for making treatment decisions for these patients rely on decision makers, such as courts, public guardians, committees, and physicians, who typically do not have sufficient knowledge to predict the patients' preferences. Thus, these mechanisms likely yield decisions that are inconsistent with patients' treatment preferences in many cases. A population-based treatment indicator is a computer-based tool that predicts which treatment a given patient would prefer based on the treatment preferences of similar patients in similar situations. A recent analysis suggests that a population-based treatment indicator could predict patient preferences as accurately as patient-appointed surrogates and next of kin. This analysis suggests that a population-based treatment indicator may provide a mechanism to respect the treatment preferences of patients without surrogates and ensure that their treatment preferences are respected as much as the preferences of patients who have surrogates. Collection of data on patients' treatment preferences, especially those without surrogates, incorporation of these data into a treatment indicator, and exploration of ways to implement this approach for patients without surrogates are called for.
Process of development and implementation of a population-based treatment indicator.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Users' Guides to the Medical Literature
Chapter 22.2. Decision Making and the Patient
Users' Guides to the Medical Literature
The Role of Costs in Clinical Decision Making Remains Controversial
All results at
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.