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The Decision About Entering Hospice Care -- Who Decides?

Question: When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made, and may someone besides the patient make the decision? Answer: At any time during a terminal illness, it is appropriate for a patient and his or her family to discuss with the doctor all of a patient's care options, including hospice care. By law, the decision belongs to the patient.     For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit

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