Patients who stop dialysis treatment have a life expectancy of one week to several weeks, notes the National Kidney Foundation. Life expectancy depends on the amount of kidney function remaining along with the patient's overall medical situation.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, patients may choose to stop treatment if they feel it is not helping their quality of life. Patients should discuss the decision with their doctor and loved ones. A doctor may be able to make changes that would improve the treatment outcome. Death from failing kidneys usually is painless; however, patients who are in pain may be prescribed medication. Without dialysis, fluids may accumulate in the body, causing tiredness and difficulty breathing. A doctor can prescribe treatments to help with these conditions.