In the last phase of life, difficult choices often have to be made regarding palliative care. You or someone close to you can face many questions: Where should I receive the care I need, at home or in a facility? What can I do to alleviate the pain? Do I want to do everything possible to live as long as possible? What can palliative treatment still do for me? How much will the side effects of the treatment bother me? Do I want CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) if I get a cardiac arrest? Do I want 'tube feeding' (artificial nutrition by means of a PEG tube) if I cannot eat or drink anymore? Do I want to continue with kidney dialysis? Sometimes, the questions concern someone close to you who cannot decide for him- or herself. In this case, the question 'What would his or her wishes have been?' plays an important role. There are no guidelines that can answer these questions, since it depends mainly on personal values.
Palliative care decision aids
At the bottom of this page, decision aids are listed that can assist you in finding answers to these difficult questions regarding palliative care. These decision aids give information and can help you in making well-considered choices.
Making decisions for the future
At the end of life, it is important to inform your doctors and the people you love about what you want. Not only what you want now, but also what you want them to do if you can no longer decide for yourself. The decision aids can assist you in making these difficult decisions.
If it is about someone who is not able to use the decision aids without help, it may be a good idea to go through the decision aids on palliative care together. If a person no longer able to decide for him- or herself, the final decision will be made by relatives, friends and doctors.