Coronary Artery Disease - End-of-Life Decisions
Although treatment for
coronary artery disease is increasingly successful at
prolonging life and reducing complications and hospitalization, the disease can
lead to a
heart attack, a
stroke, and other fatal conditions. It's a good idea
to think about end-of-life decisions before these events happen, while you are
still active and able to talk about your wishes.
When you are
diagnosed with coronary artery disease, your doctor will discuss treatment
options with you. If your heart disease is advanced and your life will most
likely be shortened by the illness, your doctor may talk to you about whether
you want to be revived (resuscitated) when your illness progresses and your
breathing stops. You may want to learn more about aggressive life-sustaining
medical treatment and whether it is right for you. For more information, see:
- End-of-Life Care: Should I Stop Treatment That Prolongs My Life?
Many other decisions about end-of-life issues, such as
writing a living will and estate planning, can be made in advance, leaving
valuable time for spending with loved ones and on other important matters. For
more information, see the topics
Care at the End of Life and
Writing an Advance Directive.