Section: Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice News

Talking to Your Doctor About Serious Illness


When you or a loved one are seriously ill it is natural to have many questions and worries about the future and potential treatment.

According to health care professionals from Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice there are several ways to maximize the amount of information you obtain during the often brief time you have with your doctor.

Perhaps the most important suggestion shared is to carefully prepare for the visit by drafting a list of questions for your doctor. Patients should also prioritize the questions and even consider booking a double appointment if the list is large. It is often helpful to have a loved one accompany you in the exam room. This person can take notes and help make sure your questions are properly addressed.

Once your physician recommends a treatment, Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice suggests you ask questions such as:

  • What will the treatment accomplish?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Are there other options for treatment?
  • Do you think I would benefit more by focusing on comfort and quality of life?

If you decide you want a second opinion about your treatment options, you should tell your doctor about your plans. The second physician will have to obtain copies of your medical records. Never hesitate to ask questions.

About Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice

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Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice offers compassion, education and support to both the patient and family – empowering decision making, enhancing quality of life and helping you find answers. For more information, visit

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