Hospice FAQs


Terms you should be familiar with include:

  • A living will is a document that informs doctors and other health care providers of the patient's wishes concerning life-prolonging treatments or procedures when a terminal condition exists.
  • A health care representative document allows the patient to appoint another person to make medical decisions if he or she is no longer able to do so. This document also makes it possible for a patient to state specific wishes regarding life-prolonging treatments or procedures.
  • A power of attorney is a legal document that enables an individual to appoint another person to make decisions about financial affairs, in addition to health care decisions, should he or she become unable to make those decisions.
  • Upon admission to the program, hospice asks the patient to state his or her preference regarding life-prolonging procedures such as artificial respiration or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. If a patient does not desire attempts at resuscitation in the event of cardiac or pulmonary arrest, hospice informs the attending physician. Hospice obtains a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order from the physician. This DNR enables hospice staff to allow the patient to die peacefully and naturally.