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Living Will Considerations For Terminally Ill Ovarian Cancer Patients

Living Will Considerations for Terminally Ill Ovarian Cancer Patients

End of life issues are rarely pleasant to discuss, but living will considerations for terminally ill ovarian cancer patients are a sad necessity when treatment is failing to slow down the growth of the cancer and medical treatments are quickly running out. Unfortunately, many patients consider that their wishes will be met by those who know them best yet when it comes down to providing the medical care and following through on decisions you may have discussed with a friend or loved one, failure to put these directives in writing will hinder the person to act on your behalf and execute your directions.

There are several living will considerations for terminally ill ovarian cancer patients:

* Do you wish hospital personnel to utilize life sustaining and prolonging gadgetry when it becomes obvious that you have no chance of survival? This may refer to the use of ventilators and respirators that are used when you are no longer conscious and your body needs help to keep itself alive. If life sustaining machinery is declined, your death will be imminent within a matter of hours.
* Do you wish hospital personnel to resuscitate you? In other words, do you give permission to withhold CPR should you stop breathing or should your heart suddenly stop? Failure to receive CPR at such a time will result in your immediate death.
* Do wish for hospital personnel to withhold artificial means to feed and hydrate you? This has been in the news in recent years and failure to be hydrated and fed via a tube will result in your death by starvation. This is a slow death and may take several days or even weeks, depending on your body’s overall condition. It may be traumatic for loved ones to see you in this condition or to be the ones having to order medical personnel to withhold these means of bodily survival, and thus you must discuss it with them first and then put your decision in writing.
* Do you wish to receive palliative care? This is commonly considered to be hospice care and may take place at home or in the hospital. Essentially you are no longer seeking a cure for your condition – it may have been established that a cure is impossible – but the care you are receiving is keeping your quality of life at its highest level. Sometimes this may be referred to as refusal of aggressive medical treatment versus comfort treatments. You will be fed, offered pain medication and also antibiotics, receive counseling for dealing with the symptoms of your disease, and of course you are treated for whatever conditions may crop up, but your cancer is no longer specifically targeted.

While living will consideration for those terminally ill with ovarian cancer may be hard to consider, remember that you have the option of changing your mind at any time! You may simply withdraw your consent on one or more issues and draw up a new document that spells out your changed directives.





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