How do I deal with Healthcare Providers?

Doctors and nurses have dedicated their careers to making you the healthiest person you can be. Talking to them about your end-of-life wishes may be difficult. Most healthcare professionals though will be eager to fulfill your wishes.
When you discuss the Hospice option with your doctor:

  • Ask them to thoroughly explain all treatments and procedures that may seem confusing.
  • Let your doctor know that you are completing your advance directives.
  • Make sure your doctor is willing to follow your directives.
  • Talk about pain management options.
  • Give your doctor a copy of your completed directives. Make sure the name and telephone number of your appointed healthcare agent is included in that copy.
  • Make sure both your doctor and healthcare agent or proxy, know of each other. You want no one to be surprised in a crisis situation.

Ask your doctor:

  • If he/she will talk openly with you and your family about your illness?
  • What kind of decision will you and your family face with your illness? What recommendations will he/she make to help you with those decisions?
  • What can he/she offer to relieve pain or discomfort associated with your illness?
  • Can he/she offer referrals to medical, surgical and palliative care specialists, faith leaders and social workers should you need them?
  • If treatments stop working will he/she inform my family and me so we can make appropriate decisions about the future?
  • Will he/she still be available when you are close to the end of your life?