End of Life Care Directory
People may face difficult decisions near the end of life, including the kind of care they'd like to receive and who will make decisions about their care. It's advisable to be prepared by writing an advance directive with instructions about medical care in case of future inability to make a decision and appointing a health care agent or attorney to make treatment decisions. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about end-of-life care, deciding on curative or palliative care, choosing a health care agent, writing an advance directive, finding end of life support, and much more.
Planning the Transition to End-of-Life Care in Advanced Cancer (PDQ®): Supportive care - Patient Information [NCI]-End-of-Life Care Decisions To Be Made
Care decisions for the last stages of cancer can be about treatments and procedures, pain control, place of care, and spiritual issues.ChemotherapySome patients choose to begin new chemotherapy treatment in the end stages of cancer. Others wish to let the disease take its course when a cure is not expected. In the end stages of cancer, chemotherapy usually doesn't help you live longer and it may lower the quality of the time that remains. Each person and each cancer is different. Talking with your doctor about the effects of treatment and your quality of life can help you make a decision. You can ask if the treatment will make you comfortable or if it will help you live longer. Pain and symptom controlControlling pain and other symptoms can help you have a better quality of life in the end stages of cancer. Pain and symptom control can be part of your care in any place of care, such as the hospital, home, and hospice.Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)It's important to decide if you
Planning the Transition to End-of-Life Care in Advanced Cancer (PDQ®): Supportive care - Patient Information [NCI]-Supportive Care, Palliative Care, and Hospice
Even when treatments can no longer cure the cancer, medical care is still needed.Some of the end-of-life care options are supportive care, palliative care, and hospice.Supportive careSupportive care is given to prevent or treat, as early as possible, the symptoms of the cancer, side effects caused by treatments, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to the cancer or its treatment. During active treatment to cure the cancer, supportive care helps you stay healthy and comfortable enough to continue receiving the cancer treatments. In the last stages of cancer, when a cure is no longer the goal, supportive care is used for side effects that continue.Palliative carePalliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses. The focus of palliative care is relief from pain and other symptoms, both during active treatment and when treatment has been stopped. Palliative care is offered in some hospitals, outpatient centers, and in
Hospice Care-Topic Overview
What is hospice care?Hospice care provides medical services, emotional support, and spiritual resources for people who are in the last stages of a terminal illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Hospice care also helps family members manage the practical details and emotional challenges of caring for a dying loved one. Why would I choose hospice care?The goal of hospice treatment is to keep ...
Planning the Transition to End-of-Life Care in Advanced Cancer (PDQ®): Supportive care - Patient Information [NCI]-Quality Care at the End of Life
You decide what quality care at the end of life means for you. Your care continues even after all treatments have stopped. End-of-life care is more than what happens moments before dying. Care is needed in the days, weeks, and sometimes even months before death. During this time, many patients feel it's important to:Have their pain and symptoms controlled.Avoid a long process of dying.Feel a sense of control over what is happening to them.Cause less emotional and financial burden on the family.Become closer with loved ones.Your doctors and family need to know the kind of end-of-life care you want. Make end-of-life care decisions early.You may be able to think about your options more clearly if you talk about them before the decisions need to be made. It's a good idea to let your doctors, family, and caregivers know your wishes before there is an emergency.
Coping with a Life-Threatening Illness
Palliative care improves life by helping patients and caregivers cope with life-threatening illness.
What Is Palliative Care?
With a focus on quality of life and a holistic approach, palliative care helps patients and families through serious illnesses.
Palliative Care for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Palliative care for cancer patients helps ease discomfort, anxiety, nausea, and emotional distress. Find out how palliative care can improve quality of life during and after cancer treatment.
Talk About Death
When a loved one is dying, how do you find the right words?