Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

End of Life Decisions and Planning

  • Provides links to information about advance care planning. Includes links on advance directives, palliative care and hospice, finding a health care agent, and dealing with grief or dementia.

  • How does your ICD help you? Your ICD can save your life. Your ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) is always checking your heart rate and rhythm. If the ICD detects a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm, it tries to slow the rhythm back to normal using electrical pulses. If the dangerous rhythm doesn't...

  • When a child has a serious illness, the time may come when a cure isn't possible, or when treatment to help the child live longer is not working. Hearing that a child will die causes feelings of deep pain, loss, and helplessness in parents—and in...

  • Funerals and memorial services allow the grieving family and friends time to reminisce about the life of their loved one. A funeral or memorial service can be a time not only for grieving but also for healing and celebrating life. A funeral or...

  • Discusses decisions related to care near the end of life. Discusses choosing where and what kind of care you want. Covers who will make decisions if you can't. Info on advance directives and need for durable power of attorney.

  • Even if your family is involved in helping you make medical treatment decisions, it is still important to choose one person to be your health care agent. If you want one family member to be able to make medical treatment decisions for you, appoint...

  • The end of life may be months, weeks, days, or hours. It is a time when many decisions about treatment and care are made for patients with cancer. It is important for families and healthcare providers to know the patient's wishes ahead of time and to talk with the patient openly about end-of-life plans. This will...

  • When you learn you have advanced cancer, you're faced with many decisions about your end-of-life care. Talking about these decisions early can make it easier on you and your family later. The following are some questions you may want to think about: What's important to you during this time? Is it most...

  • Guides through decision to stop treatment that can prolong your life. Discusses choosing what kind of care you want. Covers factors that may affect your decision, such as type of illness. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • When your loved one is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, it is important to keep communication as clear and direct as possible. Work at keeping the lines of communication open with your loved one, with his or her doctor, and with your family. Recognize your family's style of communication. How did your family...

  • Guides through decision to receive CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and mechanical ventilation. Describes the procedures and discusses risks and benefits of each. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to receive artificial hydration and nutrition if you have a life-threatening or terminal illness. Describes various feeding-tube methods. Discusses benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to stop kidney dialysis for kidney failure. Covers key factors in decision. Covers benefits and risks. Discusses what happens after dialysis is stopped. Offers interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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