Atul Gawande's book Being Mortal is a thoughtful and well researched review of how we treat our ill, elderly and dying. He suggests 5 questions to ask all patients as an opening discussion
What is your understanding of where you are and of your illness?
Your fears or worries for the future
Your goals and priorities
What outcomes are unacceptable to you? What are you willing to sacrifice and not?
And later, what would a good day look like?
Asking these allows everybody to understand what the goal really is — what are you really fighting for? It’s for a life that contains certain things.
Gawande, A. (2014).Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande: Medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande(First edition.). New York: Metropolitan Books : Henry Holt & Company.