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Gerontologist. 1991 Oct;31(5):619-23.

Health care decision making by the elderly: I get by with a little help from my family.

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  • 1Department of Community Health, Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, OH 45401-0927.


Shared decision making about placement and medical interventions can be empowering to the older person involved, relieve burdens on the older person and family members, and facilitate better surrogate decision making later. Potential dangers of the shared process include coercion, conflicts of interest, and disagreements between family members. New legal concepts, similar to those governing property, could help our legal system better accommodate the realities of shared decision making.

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