Commencing treatment for end-stage kidney disease can be an emotional time. The experience of dialysis can be overwhelming, too.
For these reasons, it's worth discussing options with your healthcare team as soon as you can. This way, feelings and strong family opinions won't cloud your judgement when the time to decide comes.
If you choose to opt-out of dialysis and explore comprehensive conservative care, that's okay. There are several reasons why comprehensive conservative care may appeal to you:
- whether on a spiritual, cultural, or personal level, you believe the burden of dialysis outweighs the benefits
- you do not want the tests, procedures and appointments associated with ongoing dialysis treatment
- you are frail, elderly, or have other medical conditions - in which case dialysis is not guaranteed to improve your quality of life. You may live just as long with comprehensive conservative care as with dialysis treatment.
If you are already undergoing dialysis, you may choose to change over to comprehensive conservative care. No matter your reasons for not wanting dialysis, it is your right to choose.
While the decision is up to you, it can be helpful to involve family members, close friends, a social worker, a counsellor or spiritual adviser, and your doctor before making a decision.