2. LEARN about medical procedures and what they can and can’t do. You could choose treatment(s) that can help prolong your life or treatment(s) that focus on your comfort and quality of life (like control of pain and symptoms). There are some patient decision aids that can help you explore treatment options at end-of-life: Decision Aid
Some other questions you may want to consider include:
- Is there a good chance that your illness can be cured or managed?
- Is there a good chance that you would be able to maintain your quality of life (as defined by you) after treatment? For example “as long as I would be able to return to my usual activities, as long as I was able to take care of my own personal care needs…”
- Some treatments may cause side-effects that can greatly affect your quality of life and your ability to spend time with your family and friends. What “trade-offs” would you consider?
- What would or wouldn’t be worth it for you? (e.g. as long as it wouldn’t affect my ability to communicate/converse with my family, I wouldn’t want to live longer if it meant my remaining time would be spent in hospital hooked up to machines…)