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Your kidneys are like your heart – you need kidney function in order to
live. Making an informed decision about your kidney care treatment includes learning about Conservative Care.
Conservative care means choosing not to start or to stop dialysis. You may have other health issues that influence your quality of life. Reflecting on how these issues might further impact your life on dialysis is important.
Choosing not to start dialysis, or to stop dialysis, when your kidneys are no longer working, will mean that your health will continue on a natural course toward your death. Comfort care can be arranged to meet your physical and emotional needs as you approach the end of life. Regardless of the option you choose, your Interprofessional team are here to support you and your family with your decision.
Dr. Blake and Conservative Care
If dialysis has already been started, you have the option of stopping dialysis. Just as starting dialysis is a treatment option, stopping dialysis is also a treatment choice. If you feel the burden of dialysis outweighs the benefits of life on dialysis you can be supported with conservative and comfort care. Please raise your thoughts and questions with your renal healthcare team. The decision to stop dialysis should be made carefully and thoughtfully with the help of your healthcare team and your family, to make sure that all important supports are available.
For more information see "Choosing to Stop Dialysis, A BROCHURE FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILIES" as well as "Choosting Not to Start Dialysis" both from The Kidney Foundation of Canada. These are also available to you at your renal appointments at LHSC. Please do not hesitate to discuss the option of Conservative Care with your Kidney Team.
Advance Care Planning is an important part of ensuring that decisions are always made according to your best wishes and values. We've provided information and resources to help you get started.