End-of-Life Conversations

Below are resources for talking to patients, residents or clients about end of life.


Conversations about end-of-life care

Maintaining hope at the end of life

Treating Cancer: Hope vs Hype

“In a study published last year in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, only 5 percent of cancer patients with less than six months to live had an accurate understanding of their illness. Thirty-eight percent couldn’t remember ever talking to their doctor about their life expectancy.” Published June 12, 2017

Advice for Practitioners

SPIKES: A Six-Step Protocol for Delivering Bad News: Application to the Patient with Cancer
Widely used by hospice and palliative care professionals.  Developed by Robert Buckman,

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (Caring Connections)

Talking About Treatment Options and Palliative Care: A Guide for Clinicians

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (Caring Connections)
Advice for Physicians Caring for Dying Patients

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Logo

(Note that Montgomery Hospice and Prince George’s Hospice staff members are available by phone to talk with patients and families about hospice services and about when a patient may be eligible for hospice. They also visit patients in their homes to provide more specific information. No referral is necessary. Call 301-921-4400 any time, any day. A staff member from our Admission Department can be reached directly at 301-637-1888 between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, 7 days a week.)