Know who you are and what you want. This is important, especially in an emergency. My spouse knows my wishes. While there is no reason to be in pain for many death-related medical issues, there are extreme mesure we should not be given, e.g., CPR in the case of palliative care.
You need to understand the difference between palliative care (comfort measure, no more treatment) and FULL CODE. Read this, and you will understand. You must be able to tell your family if you want a full code, or comfort, which means pain killers, but no more treatment measures. My Dad, on his last legs (actually not ambulatory) was taking 8 meds a day. The LTC physician didn't see him, nor read his file.
Understanding CPR and DNR (This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 5/05)
As you make your decision, consider the following points:
- Do you have strong personal, religious, or spiritual views about dying and care at the end of life?
- Would CPR likely enable you to return to a quality of life and level of activity that would be acceptable to you?
- Are there important tasks that feel unfinished? Do you need to say things to loved ones or complete financial tasks that will allow them to live better after you die?
- If CPR were partially successful, would you want to be placed on a ventilator?
- Do you have strong feelings about dying at home versus in a hospital setting? (CPR may increase the likelihood of dying in a hospital setting)
- Brothers or sisters, stepsiblings
- Grandparents and steps
- Grandchildren and their spouses
- Son-in-laws, daughters-in-law
- Father-in-law, mother-in-law
- Brother-in-law, sister-in-law
- Uncles, aunts, their spouses
- Nephews and nieces, their spouses
- Current or former foster parents, foster children, wards, guardians
- Advance Care Planning and End of Life Decision-Making – More than Just Documents
- Advance Care Planning in Ontario
- Options for Advance Care Planning
- The Health Care Consent Act and the Substitute Decisions Act – 25 Common Misconceptions