HAVE YOU REACHED A TURNING POINT?
suffer from chronic degenerative diseases can reach a point where they feel that the benefits of treatment are no longer worth
the pain or
If you believe you have reached such a turning point, it is important to tell your physician
what your are feeling.
While it is possible that the turning point from a treatable illness to a terminal one has been
reached, it is also possible that the difficult medical treatments have made the situation seem worse than it actually is.
taking any action you should be sure that you have considered all the
- If you have reached such a point, you may wish to change the kind of
treatment you are
receiving, perhaps entering a hospice program. This is avery important decision that you should discuss with your family
- If you have a chronic progressive illness, there is usually not a specific
it becomes terminal. It just slowly gets worse and you may reach a point where you simply don't want to receive any
- Dealing with a serious illness can make you depressed, possibly to the
point where you
feel that life is not worth living anymore. Before acting on these feelings, however, check with a doctor to find out
if you have clinical depression - a psychological condition that can often be helped. Medications or counseling may set you
back on a more hopeful track.
ASK YOUR PHYSICIAN
- How am I responding to medical treatment?
- How can you tell if the treatment is working?
- What are my options?
ASK YOUR PHYSICIAN continued
- What are the benefits and risks of those options?
- What is your professional opinion about my condition?
Talk to your physicians about your concerns.
Before taking any action you should
be sure that you have considered all the
Ask yourself the following:
- What is important to you?
- How is your illness now affecting you physically and emotionally?
- Is the number of good days far outnumbering the bad days?
- How do you feel about the medical treatment you have been receiving?
- Have there been difficult or painful side effects?
- How is this affecting your loved ones?
Even if you make choices that seem right today, it is likely that you will want to change
them as your get older or things change in your life. The purpose of this website is to help explain some of the choices you
can make, whether you are still healthy or have a serious illness, in order to make things easier for you and your family.
you make and share with others, while you are healthy, will most
likely be better than decisions that others make for you
if you're very
Just remember, there is no "right choice" or "wrong choice". It is YOUR choice.
You can decide how to live the last days of your life, but you must think about these issues now and discuss them with your
family and your doctor to make the best decisions for yourself and loved ones.
Source: Choices and Conversations
A Guide To End of Life Care For Rhode Island Families" published by Aging 2000
is In PDF format
Ironically one of the contributor to this guide is Jean E Miller, a nurse!