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Talking To Your Doctor

Most patients are reluctant to bring up this kind of issue with their doctor, but it is very important for patients want to know how their doctor will care for them when they near the end of life.  Patients need to know if their doctors (primary care, specialists, and sub-specialists) have expertise in end of life care and if they will work with hospice or other palliative care experts.  Most of all, patients want to know if their doctor will be there for them in their time of need.  Patients understand that the values and beliefs of the physician determine what type of care they provide, and patients want to know what those values are. The way to find out where your doctor stands, ask him/her a simple question: 

  • What is your position on physician-assisted suicide? 

If you hear an answer you don’t like, it might be time for you to find another physician.  If your physician is opposed to assisted suicide, you can find out if they will “Take the Pledge” by obtaining a pledge, giving it to your physician, and asking these questions:

  • Is this pledge something you agree with?
  • Would you be willing to display this in your waiting room or office?
 
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