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Colorectal Cancer: Nearing End Of LIfe

If You Are Likely To Be Hospitalized

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If you are likely to be hospitalized, your doctor can tell you whether a particular hospital will honor your wishes, particularly about medical care that you do not want. If one hospital won't follow your wishes, there is likely to be a nearby hospital that will. 

If the medical care is much better at a hospital that won't honor your end of life wishes, consider the following steps:

  • Execute a Health Care Power of Attorney appointing a Proxy who will be empowered to make medical decisions when you can't. 
    • Discuss with the person you appoint what you do or do not want done and in what circumstances. Include an overview of your wishes so he or she has guidance for answering questions that the two of you don't think to talk about.
    • Be sure that one of requests you discuss with your Proxy is to move you from one hospital to another if the first hospital won't comply with your wishes.
    • Execute other Advance Directive documents such as a Living Will in case there is a dispute about your wishes.
  • Let your doctor know that you will enter the suggested hospital for medical care, but that if it comes to that, you want to be transferred to a hospital that will honor your end of life wishes. Give the doctor a copy of your Health Care Power of Attorney, and the contact information for the person you appoint as Proxy. Give another copy of the Health Care Power of Attorney to the hospital, as well as whatever other Advance Directives you execute. Ask your health care proxy to read our document about enforcing living wills. 

For additional information, see the documents in "To Learn More."

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