Advanced Illness and Life Planning
Advanced Illness and Life Planning

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you prescribe me pain medications or be my primary doctor?


My private practice is only for consultation/guidance and does not include medical management such as prescribing medications, physical exams, or lab work.  If pain or symptom management issues are apparent during our meetings, we can discuss ways to advocate for better treatment with your care team.


I'm worried that my parent is getting older but I can't get them to talk to me about their medical wishes. Can you help?


I can't force anyone to discuss topics when they aren't ready or willing, but there are gentle ways to approach hard conversations indirectly. Contact me to discuss the situation and we can decide together on the best approach. Often times people will open up more if they feel you're trying to help empower them and give them more control in their life.

My loved one has dementia and can't make their own decisions or sign documents. Is it too late to make medical plans for them?


If someone does not have the cognitive capacity to make complex medical decisions, they cannot complete an advance directive. However, the other documents and discussions are still very applicable and can be handled by the family on their behalf. This is the critical time to think about their overall quality of life and create a plan for the future.

Can my whole family join our consultation?


Absolutely. If there are many family members or complex dynamics, it may be better to do an initial consultation separately. Once I have an understanding of your medical situation and what you are hoping for, we can then arrange a family meeting (in person or remotely) where I assist in explaining clinical information, give loved ones a safe space to express their concerns, and create a plan that all can support and understand.

Do you help people with physician aid-in-dying (also sometimes called physician assisted suicide)?


During our consultation, I can provide information about your options and rights in California. The End Of Life Options Act allows patients with a terminal illness and prognosis of 6 months or less to request medications that will cause their death if they choose to ingest.  There are a number of steps and criteria that need to be met to obtain the medications and I can provide detailed information about this program.

Can you work with my medical team to make sure they know what I want?


During our consultation, we can talk about your specific situation and decide together if  additional communication with your medical team is necessary after completing health care documentation.  If so, I would ask you to sign a release form allowing me to discuss your medical information with other providers and then I'd be happy to assist in advocating for you. 

Have questions I haven't covered? 

Please ask and we can talk about whether I can help.

For more information or to book an appointment,

Contact Me




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© Erin Reeve, MD