Non-dialytic care entails providing comfort care while letting the disease run its natural course. Instead of dialysis, patients manage their symptoms through support of healthcare professionals and following a specific diet and medication regimen. Patients in end stage renal disease are nearing their end of life. Whether on dialysis or not, patients may find that their life expectancy is reduced. During this time patients may feel that renal replacement therapy may not be the best option for them. Some may decide that improving their quality of life outweighs the need for therapy.
In these situations, patients have the right to stop, or not start, renal replacement therapy. To exercise these right, a patients need to be fully informed and understand the different alternative therapies and implications of each form.
Before patients choose conservative care, it is important that patients discuss their feelings and concerns with their doctor. Your doctor will explain to you what conservative care entails and how it affects their health. Patients may also discuss the impacts of conservative care with a social worker and what it may mean to patients and their family.