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Why Mediclaim or Health Insurance

We are all individuals and everyone has their own goals, values and beliefs including specific views and attitudes about illness and medical treatment.

It is a good idea to clarify your own point of view and what medical care you might want. You can do this by thinking about what you expect from medical treatment and what you hope it achieves.

Being sick affects people in many different ways. Illness can cause physical and emotional symptoms including pain, discomfort, distress and disability. Sometimes it can stop you from living your normal life and doing the things that you want and enjoy doing.

Advance care planning involves thinking about the sort of treatment that you would want to have now and in the future.

Before you can make informed decisions about your medical care, you need to understand:

  • Your illness or injury (if you have one) and how it might or does affect you
  • The effects of any treatment you might need
  • Your own views and attitudes about illness and medical treatments.

We encourage you to gather information from your doctors, family and friends and other people who might be able to assist you such as spiritual advisers, alternative therapists or support groups.

Questions about living well & your future goals

  • What are the things that you most value, or enjoy in life? (For example, independence, certain activities, talking with family and friends)
  • What is important to you in life? What makes life worth living?
  • What goals do you have, both now and in the future?
  • How do you think your current and future health will affect your chance of achieving your goals? Are there certain abilities you need to maintain to preserve your dignity? For example, thinking, talking, being mobile, being independent and able to look after yourself
  • Are there any situations where you would prefer to have treatment aimed at keeping you comfortable and allowing you to die naturally rather than having treatment aimed at prolonging life?

Many people want any possible treatment to prolong their life as long as possible. This is a perfectly reasonable request. However, doctors will only provide treatment that might be medically beneficial, and will not provide treatment, which has no possibility of benefit,

Questions about your health now and any illness you may have

  • What is your current health like? What, if any, health problems do you have now?
  • Do you feel that you have a good understanding of your current health problems and what can be done to help you? (If your answer here is ‘no’ it might be a good idea to see your doctor to get further information and to ask any questions you have about your illness).
  • How does your illness affect you? Pain? Discomfort? Shortness of breath? Lethargy? Disability?
  • Does your illness interfere with your independence, your ability to look after yourself and your enjoyment of life?
  • Will you get better, get worse or stay the same?

Questions about your treatment

  • Do you understand the different treatment options for your illness?
  • How will current or future treatments affect you?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Will side effects last forever or go away?
  • The burdens and side effects of various treatments are tolerable for some and intolerable for others. There is no “right” or “wrong” response to this type of situation

Questions for healthy people

  • If you became very sick or were seriously injured, and were not likely to fully recover: Would you prefer treatments aimed at extending life for as long as possible, or would you rather receive treatment that is focused on comfort?
  • Are there any medical treatments you feel strongly about (either having or not having)?
  • Do you understand about the type of treatments that are available should you become very sick or injured?
  • Would you want all treatments, regardless of their degree of benefit to your illness/condition?
  • Would you only want treatments if you could continue to live the way you want? What would be your minimum acceptable outcome? e.g. fully independent, needing assistance but able to recognise and interact with family, living independently, being able to talk, eat etc.

Many people who do not have an illness and who are otherwise fit and healthy still want to do advance care planning because they feel strongly about certain treatments and/or want their doctors to be informed about what it means for them to live the way they want. They also want to reduce the decision making burden placed on their loved ones.

Choices about life-prolonging treatments

There are many different types of treatments that can be used to sustain life. Usually, such treatment involves replacing biological functions such as breathing naturally or eating. Such treatments may be used when it is expected that recovery will occur and the treatment will be temporary.

However, there are situations where recovery might not be possible and the proposed treatment would then be expected to be long term, possibly for the rest of the person’s life.

Further information about life-prolonging treatments and the choices people have when deciding whether or not to have such treatments, click: Choices About Life Prolonging Treatments.

For many people, rather than asking them to make difficult decisions about different types of medical treatment for different types of conditions, it is more helpful, and often easier, to ask people to consider  what they would regard as an acceptable or desirable outcome if they were to receive any type of treatment for any type of illness.

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This entry was posted on November 24, 2018 by in Uncategorized.

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