Talk to Your Loved Ones

After examining your personal values, beliefs and goals for care, share what is important to you with your health care agent and alternate agent, your family, close friends, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, other members of your medical team, lawyer and spiritual adviser.

Questions to Consider

Below are some questions for you to think about and discuss with your health care agent and alternate agent in order to make sure that they understand you and can act on your behalf.

  1. If you were dying, how important would each of the issues below be? Think about how you would rate each of these issues on a four point scale (not important, moderately important, very important, or extremely important)
    • Avoiding pain/suffering, even if it means that I might not live as long
    • Being alert, even if it means I might be in pain
    • Being around my family and close friends
    • Being able to feel someone touching me
    • Having religious or spiritual advisers at my side when I die
    • Being able to tell my life story and leave good memories for others
    • Reconciling differences and saying “good-bye” to my family and friends
    • Being at home when I die
    • Being in a hospital when I die
    • Being kept alive long enough for my family to get to my bedside to see me before I die, even if I’m unconscious
  2. What are some of the things that you would hope for that could make your last months, weeks, days, or hours the most peaceful?
  3. What are your biggest hopes about the end of your life?
  4. What are your biggest fears about the end of life?

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