Find a Partner Doctor
A “partner doctor” is on your side — recognizing that your values and priorities should guide medical decisions. Follow these steps to find a doctor who supports patient-directed care:
- Schedule a standalone appointment with your doctor to discuss your end-of-life priorities. (NOTE: Advance care planning consultations are now covered under Medicare.)
- Have a frank conversation with your doctor using the questions below to determine whether or not he or she will be a supportive partner. Ask for the notes from that discussion to be incorporated into your medical record.
- Provide your advance directive — including the addendum generated from our Dementia Values and Priorities Tool — for review; ask for confirmation your doctor will work to honor your wishes, and your directive will be incorporated into your medical record.
- Share our Doc2Doc consultation information, explaining it could help if expert guidance is needed to honor your wishes and provide patient-directed end-of-life care.
- If your doctor is unwilling to support your wishes, explore finding a new physician who will.
Key Questions to Help You Find a “Partner” Doctor
Regardless of whether you would choose any of the options described below, these questions will help you identify a doctor who supports patient-directed care:
- “When making treatment recommendations, will you be honest about their impact on my quality of life? And will you honor my decision if I choose quality-of-life over quantity?”
- “I have filled out a dementia addendum to my advance directive. It specifies the point at which I would wish to forgo human interventions that could extend my life (e.g.breathing support, cardiac pacing, antibiotics or force feeding.) Should this time ever come, are you willing to support me and my designated advocate?”
- “Do you follow any religious or ethical directives when making treatment recommendations? If so, how would that would impact my care? And, are you associated with any health system or hospital that requires you to abide by such directives?”
- “If the option of medical aid in dying is legally available in this state and I meet the eligibility criteria, will you honor my request for a prescription under this law?” Note: These questions should be asked of your primary care doctor and any specialist who treats you for a chronic or life-threatening disease.