How to Help Make Decisions on Behalf of an End-of-Life Patient


If you have a parent or other close incapacitated family member in Los Angeles palliative care, you may find yourself being named the medical power of attorney. In other words, you are the one responsible for making choices on the behalf of their end-of-life care. Even if you regard yourself as a skilled arbiter,  you may find yourself confused and skeptical of your own ability to make the best decisions for someone you care about. Your logical thinking can also, understandably, be clouded by your own emotions during this difficult time. So how can you ensure that you are making the most informed choices for your family member? 

Have open conversations with your relative’s doctors and your Los Angeles hospice care team

It is perfectly acceptable to be open and honest about the feelings you are having. If you and your other family members feel unsure about any critical medical decisions you are faced with, you should never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. 

Understand California laws

Ask as many questions as necessary about the legalities of making medical decisions on behalf of your relative. Understanding what decisions you can or cannot make as a healthcare representative will naturally allow you to make more informed choices.

Take cultural traditions and religious beliefs into consideration

Your family may have specific traditions related to your ethnicity or religious beliefs surrounding death and the dying process. If your family member is strongly connected to your cultural background or is religious, this can help guide you when you feel unsure about decisions you are faced with. In addition, by making our team aware of these cultural associations, you can allow your family member to have a meaningful send-off that aligns with their values.

Consider the wishes of your relative

This can be tricky if your family member has not expressed any verbal or written preferences regarding their end-of-life care or dying wishes. However, if they have, you may find yourself struggling to uphold their requests if you do not agree with them. For instance, families will occasionally disagree with a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) that was made before incapacitation and attempt to challenge it. We understand the devastation families feel and their desire to prolong an ill person’s life as long as possible, but we encourage respecting their wishes. We also wish to remind you that you are not wrong for having these feelings of distress if you do not agree with the decision your family member has made and you are allowed to express them.

Faith and Hope Hospice is here to help you

Our highly qualified Los Angeles hospice and palliative care team is well-equipped to help you and your family with making these difficult decisions. We are fully committed to providing your loved ones with the end-of-life care that they deserve. Choosing the right hospice in Los Angeles can be a strenuous process, but choosing Faith and Hope is among one of the best things you can do for your family member. Please go ahead and call our toll-free number at (877) 797-1977 or send us an email at We are looking forward to serving you.