Selecting goals of care
When you ask “what are we trying to accomplish?” you’re talking about setting a goal. Goal setting is a crucial part of making appropriate treatment and care decisions, for yourself or someone else.
The goals of care you select should depend on the circumstances, and goals often change when the circumstances change. Based on the goals you select, different treatment choices will be appropriate.
Possible goals of care include
- curing the illness, or stopping or slowing down its progress
- maintaining or improving function
- prolonging life
- being clear-headed or in control
- allowing a natural death, and
- relieving pain and suffering.
Making appropriate decisions
To make appropriate care decisions for yourself or someone else you must do five things,
- ask questions and get answers,
- select and adjust the goals of care,
- develop and adjust care and treatment plans,
- select places for care, and
- follow through.
You also need to know: the current health situation, the treatment options (including their benefits, burdens and risks), and the likely outcomes.
Want to do the best job making care decisions? Be sure to focus on the goals of care.