It can be overwhelming, especially as you learn about the diagnosis, treatment process and side effects. Your health care provider will consider what treatments to offer based on your current state of health, your current level of activity, the availability of treatment and what benefit you would receive from treatment.
Regardless of what your provider offers for treatment, you always have the choice to agree or refuse the treatment. It can be difficult to speak with your provider about refusing treatment.
Questions that may be helpful to guide the conversation with your provider are:
What are the benefits of treatment?
What will I gain by doing this treatment?
What would my life look like without doing this treatment?
What would my life look like living with the side effects of this treatment?
Even without having conversations about advance health care planning, people get sick or find themselves in a crisis. When health care providers talk to families, it can be hard for families because they are unsure what decisions to make or how their loved one would make decisions.
Some questions to have with the doctors may be:
Why is my loved one in the hospital/emergency room/critical care unit?
What has happened since then?
What other medical problems do they currently have?
What treatments are being given or are being planned?
What are the possible outcomes of each treatment?
Are there other treatment options?
What are the burdens of the treatment as compared to the benefits?
What decisions do we have to make right now and what decisions will we have to make later?