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Stanford Medicine

Aging, Health Policy, Medicine and Society, Research

Benefits of dialysis for frail elderly debated

USA Today readers debated the topic of the benefits of dialysis treatment for the frail elderly with kidney failure in response to the story “Risks call dialysis into question for nursing home patients” by reporter Rita Rubin. The story was prompted by a New England Journal of Medicine study by Stanford researchers which found that nursing home residents in the United States suffer a serious decline in ability to perform simple living tasks such as eating and moving around in bed the year after initiation of dialysis contrary to a general understanding by doctors that dialysis should improve living skills. Readers discussed both pros and cons from the nausea and fatigue of treatment, to the amazing benefits of extending the lives of loved ones.

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