New Study Shows Doctor’s Word Choice Impacts Decision-Making

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh shows that subtle differences in language can influence a caretaker’s choice between CPR and a “do not resuscitate” order for a loved one. For instance, when doctors utilized the words “allow natural death” rather than “do not resuscitate,” the number of patients choosing CPR decreased by 11 percent. The results suggest that doctors should be particularly intentional about word choice when it comes to end-of-life decision-making, as it can profoundly impact people’s ability to rationalize through their choices.

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