Asking the following questions of your health care team will allow you to participate responsibly and with greater satisfaction in the decision being made.
When a test is suggested:
- Why should I have the test? What problem are we looking for?
- What will the test tell us? How accurate are the results?
- What are the risks/side-effects of the test?
- If the test detects a problem, what will happen next?
- What is the cost of the test?
When a treatment or intervention is suggested:
- What is the problem? Why is it a problem?
- How serious is it? How urgent is it that we begin treatment?
- Describe the treatment: How is it done? How likely is it to detect or solve the problem>
- If it doesn’t not succeed, what are the next steps?
- What are the risks or side-effects to the treatment?
- Are there any alternatives (including waiting or doing nothing?)
- Ask questions 3, 4, and 5 about any alternatives.
- What is the cost?