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End-of-life wishes

This page is about when the end approaches. When your life is coming to an end, when you are facing an incurable illness and the inevitability of death, it is important to reflect and ask yourself questions:

  • Do I understand what is in store for me?
  • What things in the future do I worry about?
  • What do I still want to do in the time I have left?
  • What limitations - caused by my illness - do I find acceptable?

Speaking about dying

It can be useful to talk about these questions with people around you and with your doctor. Talking about your own dying is an important first step. Sometimes this is a very big step. Yet it is good for yourself and those around you if you can take this step. It remains your own freedom to want to talk about it or not. There is no obligation. You can assume that the doctor is happy to talk to you about it.

Alleviation of complaints

It is always important to try to reduce annoying symptoms that are a consequence of illness. Companionship from another person can already help. Simple support - it sounds so simple - Is so important. Talk to your doctor about options for relieving symptoms, including medication.

Making arrangements around the end of your life

It can bring peace and clarity if you make clear arrangements about the end of your life. Especially what you do and don't want to happen. If you are going to establish this, it is wise to discuss it with your GP beforehand. Ask for explanations about examinations and/or treatments that are unclear. Discuss the various pain management options with your doctor. Give your doctor a copy of your completed statement and make sure a contact person is known to your doctor. Of course, you tell your doctor what relationship you have with this contact (child, partner, close friend or neighbour). End-of-life arrangements cannot be enforced. However, doctors and nurses will generally want to follow the agreements made as much as possible. What you want as a patient is very important. Let your doctor know.

Watch this example - which can serve as inspiration. Preferably write by hand and use your own becoming. It is important to discuss your wishes first with your partner, children or others who care about you.

Not treating is also a choice

Doctors tend to continue research and treatment. Patients also prefer not to give up and doctors prefer not to dash their hopes. The result is often an accumulation of harsh treatments with many side effects. If the chances of improvement are slim, abandoning, or stopping treatment may be a good choice. It is good to consider the positive consequences of deciding, as a patient, not to undergo any more heavy treatment. Non-treatment is not always mentioned as an option by specialists. With often forgets what is obvious: just wait and see.

Keeping control yourself?

When it becomes clear that the end of your life is imminent, there is a way to stay in control. A way of dealing with your individuality that is not suitable for everyone. Yet it is important to address that way here: Consciously refraining from eating and drinking. It is often difficult for bystanders to grasp that someone can decide to stop eating and drinking. Yet people choose to do so with some regularity. Especially if your life is already in a shaky balance, or if you have a serious incurable illness, that choice can lead to a deathbed that could very well be called a death. Discuss this with your own doctor. Heus this is worth discussing.

There are always things to distract you. Busyness is all around us. But... what is it all about? Don't put off your plans to make arrangements for this. Take your time and discuss this with counsellors. Give yourself the opportunity to do what you want so much in the finite span of your life. Perhaps it would be good to go through some points and lay them down.

Roadmap

Step 1: Ask yourself some questions

  • Who do you appoint to make decisions for you if you can no longer do so yourself? Put this in writing and both sign it. Make a note of the date. Give a copy to your treating doctor and GP.
  • Which treatments do you want and which treatments don't you want?
  • When you reach the end of your life, where do you want to die? Home might be a very good place? What does it take to die at home? Are you aware of other options?
  • If you died, would you like to make tissues available to others, which could greatly improve their quality of life? Do you have a donor card? Have you registered in the donor register? Some people give it a positive thought about their own dying, knowing that their tissues will contribute to enabling a blind or partially sighted person to see again, a severely burnt child to get new skin...

Step 2: Writing down answers

Write down the answers to the above questions. Record this in a document. Sign this.

Step 3: Getting informed

Inform your partner, children, family, loved ones so they know how you feel about these things and what you have written down.

Step 4: Communicating and storing

Store this document. Make sure your family or close friends have a copy. Of course, the doctor will also get a copy.


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New telephone system

From 20 June, we are using a new telephone system. With this system, you can choose not to wait for the assistant to speak to you, but to be called back by the assistant at a later time. Of course, you can always choose to stay in the queue.

With this, we hope to increase the practice's accessibility and manage waiting times better. It will take some getting used to for everyone. For you, because you will suddenly come into contact with the practice in a different way, and also for the assistants, who will have to familiarise themselves with this way of working. We hope for your patience and especially for an improved accessibility of our GP care for you.

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