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Sharing Medical Decisions With Your Treatment Team

Sharing decisions about your treatment with your treatment team does not always happen naturally. There are many reasons why healthcare professionals do not always invite their patients to make decisions together with them, such as:

Sharing decisions about your treatment with your treatment team does not always happen naturally. There are many reasons why healthcare professionals do not always invite their patients to make decisions together with them, such as:

  • They do not see that a decision needs to be made, but rather that there is only one option.
  • They do not want to burden you with the responsibility of choosing.
  • They see treatment decisions as strictly medical decisions, where patient preferences are not relevant.
  • They feel they lack the skills to successfully make a choice together with their patient.
  • They fear that sharing decisions together will take up a lot of extra time.

Also, even though your healthcare professional believes that they share decisions with you, you might not feel included or are included when you would rather not be.

Sharing Medical Decisions With Your Treatment Team

What can you do if you want to discuss sharing decisions?

You can ask your healthcare professional what they think of sharing decisions with you and which decisions they would like to share with you.

What can you do if you decide you do not want to share in the decision?

You can share your preference with your healthcare professional and actively discuss that you want the healthcare professional or someone else to make this decision or decide not to talk about the topic of sharing decisions.

What can you do if you decide you do want to share in the decision?

You can share and discuss your preference with your healthcare professional. There are tools available online to help you discuss options with your healthcare professional. These tools can help you both understand what is important to you when making a specific treatment choice. You can find these in the next step.

In the video above, you can find more practical tips to talk about sharing decisions with your healthcare professional in each of these 3 situations.

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