When It’s Time to Discuss End-of-Life Care
Contemplating hospice or palliative care involves important and sometimes difficult conversations. You may wonder whether this means you are “giving up” or “taking away hope.” As a family member, you may feel inclined to limit the amount of information (diagnosis and prognosis) a patient receives or, as a patient, how much information you reveal to your family. You may have an idea of what you consider a “good death,” but worry that it won’t happen the way you envision. You may wonder whether hospice is Jewish.
If any of the above concerns have crossed your mind, you are not alone. The Center for Jewish End of Life Care enables you to learn some truths about hospice and palliative care as we reassure you that you are not alone.
Hospice and palliative care practitioners are experts in supporting patients and families in navigating the myriad factors contributing to end-of-life decisions. This support extends to those people who make up your family system – family members and friends you have taken to be your family – and involves your medical care teams and your spiritual and religious care team.
Alone or with other family members, you can write down your questions or concerns. This can often be helpful in facilitating conversations and informing clinicians about your values.