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What are choices of care?

This is simply a determination of how much the medical team should do to prolong life, in light of expected outcomes. Determining the choices of care involves balancing the burdens of a particular therapy against the benefits of that therapy to the patient. For example, if a terminally ill person’s heart should stop (cardiac arrest), should medical personnel attempt to restart it with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)? Further, when might a critically ill person who may not recover decide to forego further aggressive medical care and choose to be kept comfortable?

These personal choices should be made by a competent, informed person working closely with a physician, or, if the person is incompetent, by another appropriately informed individual working on the person’s behalf.