Questions for Your Doctor

Do not wait until a crisis occurs before discussing concerns about end-of-life treatments with your doctor. Chances are that he or she is waiting for you to start the conversation. Make sure your doctor knows what is important to you.

Here are some good questions to discuss when you visit your doctors:

  • If I reach a point where I am too sick to speak for myself, how will you make decisions about my care?
  • What decisions will my family and I have to make, and what kinds of recommendations will you give to help us make these decisions?
  • Will you talk openly and candidly with me and my family about my illness?
  • Will you let me know if treatment stops working so that my family and I can make appropriate decisions?
  • Will you still be available to me even when I'm sick and close to the end of my life?
  • Will you support me in getting hospice care?

Be sure you give your doctor a copy of your completed advance directive. Make sure your doctor knows the name and telephone number of your appointed healthcare agent.

Also, determine whether your doctor will follow your advance directive. The law does not force physicians to follow advance directives if they disagree with your wishes for moral or ethical reasons.