Advance Care Planning and End of Life Options

End of Life Choices New York is a nonprofit organization that provides information, advocacy, and support to expand choice at the end-of-life and improve the quality care for New Yorkers, ensuring that their rights and wishes are respected (www.endoflifechoicesny.org).

When it comes to end-of-life planning, the decisions can be overwhelming and there are many questions. These questions may include:  What’s the difference between palliative care and hospice? What’s the difference between a health care proxy and a living will? If I go to hospice, does it mean I’m dying? How can I get better pain treatment? Who makes the medical decisions for a person who is unable to communicate (doctor, spouse, children) and what if they don't agree?  

Too many people receive levels of care and treatment at the end of their lives that they do not want or would not want if they were fully informed of their treatment options. Knowledge is power. To advocate for our loved ones and our own end-of-life care, we need to know our rights and make plans. 

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