Important Decisions

Talking with the doctor
Make the most of your appointments by preparing ahead of time. Learn questions to help you make informed decisions about treatment and expected quality of life.

Quality of life
What makes life worth living? Is there a situation that would be worse than death? The more you know about what gives your relative joy, the more you can help make each day the best day it can be.

Starting the conversation
It can be awkward to bring up the topic. But families who do, report feelings of relief. They are more confidant making decisions. They know they are following their loved one’s wishes.

Health care planning It’s a gift to have your loved one’s wishes written down. Whether it’s a “do everything” approach or “let me go in peace.” Knowing what your relative wants ahead of time lifts a tremendous burden of guilt.

POST: Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment
This form is the result of a conversation with your doctor about very specific life support measures. It serves as a prescription to medical teams inside and outside the hospital. Post it on your refrigerator, for instance, so if you need to call 911, the Emergency Personnel who come to your house will know exactly what you do and don’t want done.