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Hospital  >  Departments  >  Critical Care Medicine  >  Navigating the ICU  >  What do I need to know about end-of-life care?  >  Why do the patientís values need to be shared with the care team?
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Why do the patientís values need to be shared with the care team?

The doctors will do their best to determine the diagnosis and prognosis, or outlook, for your loved one, and discuss the potential treatment options. However, in order to select the best treatment option, the team needs to know a bit about your loved one’s values. Here is why it’s important to know the patient’s values:

  • Sometimes, medical treatments may be able to prolong life, but not be able to restore your loved one to his or her previous state of health;
  • In other situations, medical treatments may have only a very small chance of success, and may cause discomfort or other forms of suffering;
  • Many people may not want to receive these types of medical treatments. So the team will ask whether your loved one would prefer to receive something less invasive, and aimed towards comfort;
  • This is a personal decision, and if your loved one cannot speak and make a decision, the team will need you to decide on his or her behalf (learn more about the role of substitute decision maker).

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Location and contact

Critical Care Medicine

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, 
D-wing, 1st floor
room D1 08
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4522
Fax: 416-480-4999

For information about patients admitted to Sunnybrook's Intensive Care Units, please contact the unit through the hospital switchboard at 416-480-6100