Invasive Healthcare Treatment in Life-threatening Situation - Will You Want Less or More?

Will You Want Less—or More?

“Less is more” is a common phrase bantered about. Will it apply to your choices for end-of-life healthcare treatment? Who will know your wishes?

Our healthcare system is designed to deliver all available treatment when a patient is in crisis. The primary objective is, of course, to stabilize the patient. On the other hand, while it is uncomfortable to acknowledge, another objective of the myriad treatments and procedures administered is undeniably to generate revenue.  After all, hospitals are businesses that require revenue to stay afloat.

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Thankfully, more hospitals are recognizing the importance of honoring a patient’s wishes, particularly when the patient is an older adult or is suffering with a terminal illness or injury. This means that healthcare agents are more commonly involved in decision-making, and the patient has been involved in making some decisions in advance.

Additionally, healthcare delivery revenue models are changing, driven by our healthcare system crisis.  For example, the “accountable care organization” creates incentives to ensure care is patient-centered, not revenue-driven.

So often, I hear the phrase “I just don’t want to be hooked up to any machines.” Another common expression is “no extraordinary measures.” If these sentiments reflect your wishes, make sure you have legally recorded your choices in a healthcare directive.  Empower your chosen decision-makers by naming them as your healthcare agents. Have a family meeting to share your preferences for healthcare treatments, and your choice of healthcare agents. If your loved ones can understand your wishes, they will be more inclined to honor your preferences.

Remember that your expressed preferences will only be invoked if medical treatment is required to save your life—and you are unable to make or communicate your own decisions.

Less invasive medical treatment at the end-of-life often translates to more time with loved ones, and a higher quality of life for the time that is left. If you desire less healthcare treatment in a life-threatening situation, make your wishes known. Be clear what is “more,” and what is “less” when it comes to your end-of-life healthcare decisions. Start the conversation now.  It’s a much easier conversation when you are sitting calmly with family members, and not in crisis.

Will you want less medical care at the end of your life? Or, will you want every possible treatment administered?

QUESTION: If you or a loved one have made decisions on end of life care, would you please share your story and inspire others via social media? Please share this post with your comment.



Have you chosen your healthcare agents? Do you feel confident that your agents are willing and ready to advocate for your wishes?

This FREE guide will help you to choose, invite and prepare your healthcare agents for future medical decisions that might be required. Interested?

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Healthcare Agent Guide

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