Dialysis is a life-saving process that filters impurities from the blood when the kidneys no longer are able to perform that vital function. But a lot of older people whose conditions require kidney dialysis are opting out, choosing a better quality of life over a longer life.
A recent story in the New York Times noted that people older than 75 are the fastest-growing segment of patients on dialysis, and that for them, the value of its benefits versus its side effects is not as clear as they are for younger patients. “A growing number of nephrologists [kidney specialists] and researchers are pushing for more educated and deliberative decision making when seniors contemplate dialysis,” The Times said.
Dialysis is a life saver; the mortality rate for people with chronic kidney disease decreased 42% from 1995 to 2012, according to the United States Renal Data System.