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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Renouncement of renal replacement therapy: withdrawal and refusal

José Andrade Moura, Ana Flávia de Souza Moura, José Hermógenes Rocco Suassuna
Jornal Brasileiro de Nefrologia: ʹorgão Oficial de Sociedades Brasileira e Latino-Americana de Nefrologia 2017, 39 (3): 312-322
29044340
Renouncement of renal replacement therapy (RRT) is a medical dilemma. This review covers the concept, the magnitude, the prognosis, and discusses strategies and management approaches about this subject in patients with CKD and AKI. Evidence suggests that refusal is more frequent and carries a more guarded prognosis than withdrawal of RRT. When RRT is not expected to be beneficial in terms of survival or quality of life, conservative treatment and palliative care are alternatives. We review the historical evolution of guidelines about renouncement of RRT and palliative care, and highlight the absence of specific recommendations in Brazil. However renouncement of RRT may be ethically and legally accepted in Brazil, as the right to a dignified death. Longer life expectancy, economic pressures, and greater awareness will require a more detailed discussion about indications and sustainable use of RRT, and possibly the elaboration of national guidelines.

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