During the course of your illness, you may come to realize that treatments meant to cure or slow your disease are no longer working. Although it's a difficult decision, you've concluded that the burdens of aggressive treatment outweigh any benefits, and you're unwilling to endure any more discomfort or risk of harm.
Instead, you'd rather spend your remaining time with family and friends. Maybe you yearn to reflect on your life and create a legacy for your loved ones, such as a journal or a videotaped...
Your treatment decisions are based on your life, goals, and values.
For example, your goal may be to celebrate your wedding anniversary in 6
months. Or maybe you want to visit your best friend across the country. If your
palliative care doctor is aware of these goals, he or she can give you the best
treatment to meet those goals.
You may choose to weigh the pros and cons of different treatments.
Some people may want to have any treatment that could extend their life. Others
may prefer not to have a treatment that has a very small chance of working,
especially if that treatment has serious side effects. If you are not sure how
well a treatment is expected to work or what the side effects might be, ask
Sometimes the decision to stop a certain treatment can be just as
hard as the decision to continue a treatment.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Shelly R. Garone, MD - Palliative Medicine
March 4, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 04, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this