The Doctor/Patient Relationship in End-Of-Life Care: a Game Theoretic Model

Castellanos, Stephan A (2015) The Doctor/Patient Relationship in End-Of-Life Care: a Game Theoretic Model. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Mark Van Boening from Economics, University of Mississippi.


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End-of-life care is a sensitive subject because it deals with life and death, as well as dealing with the nature of that death. In its most basic form, end-of-life care can be divided into two distinct pathways: aggressive treatment and methods, or palliative treatment and care. This paper explores the history surrounding these two routes and the implications that surround them. A review of the literature reveals that in many cases palliative care can increase in quality-of-life. An important part of the decision between aggressive and palliative care are the patient’s and the doctor’s feelings towards certain aspects of end-of-life care. This paper incorporates the literature into a game theoretic model of the doctor/patient relationship at the end of life. Seven different scenarios are analyzed which illuminate the influence that factors like patient respect for the doctor and counseling can have on what type of care is realized for the patient. In particular, the model implies that patients who undergo end-of-life counseling and create advanced directives are more inclined to undergo palliative care and have generally better outcomes than those who do not. This paper calls for an increase in the awareness about the benefits of counseling and advanced directives so that patients may make the best decisions possible regarding their quality-of-life when faced with end-of-life care choices. 

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Castellanos, Stephan A
Student's Degree Program(s): Bachelor of Arts
Thesis Advisor: Mark Van Boening
Thesis Advisor's Department: Economics
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: Mr Stephan Castellanos
Date Deposited: 12 May 2015 18:34
Last Modified: 12 May 2015 18:34

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