Kidney failure can be a complicated illness to manage. Patients with advanced renal failure will need a kidney transplant or long-term renal dialysis to survive. Dialysis might be a welcome life-saving treatment for many kidney failure patients but for the seriously ill and elderly it can be a physical and emotional burden and severely diminish quality of life. Making the decision to stop dialysis can be an extremely difficult one to make. Similarly, making the decision whether to start dialysis on patients that are seriously ill with multiple medical problems can be just as challenging.
If the decision has been made to forgo or to discontinue dialysis, you might be wondering what death from kidney failure is like. While death is rarely a welcome visitor, the good news is that death from kidney failure is considered a "gentle death". Many physicians and nurses I've talked to have actually stated they would choose kidney failure over any other illness to succumb to. Here is the information you need about dialysis, making the decision to stop it, and dying of kidney failure.