Difficult Conversations

When a patient has a limited life expectancy, it can be difficult to initiate a conversation about end-of-life options. Medical professionals may worry that they will lose control of their patients’ care by discontinuing curative treatment. This, they fear, may leave patients and their families feeling abandoned. Some clinicians view referral to hospice or comfort care as “giving up”.

Although curative treatments may no longer be an option, there is always something more you can do for your patients. A hospice referral is an opportunity for them to receive comprehensive symptom management and continuing support.

We hope this post will provide a guideline for end-of-life care discussions with your patients. Although each patient will require an individual approach, it can be helpful to know how to begin.

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