Providers
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End-of-life resources

Delivering sad news to patients that includes discussing end-of-life options can be very difficult for the patient, their family members, and you. Here are some key tips in helping prepare for the conversation:

  • Do not rush the conversation.
  • Hold the discussion in a private, quiet place where everyone can be seated comfortably to participate in the conversation.
  • Discuss the patients’ diagnosis, including what the patient understands and the expected prognosis.
  • Discuss the differences between palliative care and hospice care and engage the patient and their family in a thoughtful conversation about which course of action is best for the patient.
  • Become familiar with your local hospital’s Palliative Care team and how to refer to them.

Advanced directives by state

Identify the patient’s goals for end-of-life care and discuss their advanced directives. If they do not have an advanced directive, encourage them to make one.

Additional resources

For providers

National Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm: Use the “Find your state POLST Program” search tool to locate the appropriate program for your patient.

For patients

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: CaringInfo: This program provides free resources to help people make decisions about end-of-life care and services before a crisis.