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You Have Choices At the End of Your Life


Everyone has choices at the end of life. If you are facing a terminal illness, it is important to know you have options. Compassion in Dying believes you should be in charge of your own dying.

First Steps

  • Be honest and forthright with your physician about your desires for your own dying. If you feel you are not being heard, find another physician.

  • Outline your wishes in an Advance Directive.

  • Talk with family members about your fears and wishes. Ask them to support you.

At the end of life, you have the following choices:

  • Stay in your own home or move to a facility.

  • Consider hospice care wherever you live.

  • Stop life support: You may stop feeding tubes, medications (including antibiotics and blood transfusions), breathing machines, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or kidney dialysis. You have the right to comfort care to manage any symptoms.

  • Understand double effect: Aggressive pain treatment to alleviate pain and breathlessness may unintentionally end life.

  • Stop eating and drinking: This peaceful process permits dying to proceed naturally.

  • Consider terminal sedation: When pain cannot be controlled, sedation to unconsciousness is available.

  • Self-administer life-ending medication. Seek information from Compassion In Dying.

For more information, contact Compassion in Dying, 503.221.9556 or Also visit our Web site at

Choice means dignity and autonomy.

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This article was provided by Compassion in Dying.
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