When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made, and who should make it?

At any time during a life limiting illness, it is appropriate to discuss all of a patients care options, including hospice. By law the decision belongs to the patient. Understandably, most people are uncomfortable with the idea of stopping an all-out effort to beat the disease. Hospice staff members are highly sensitive to these concerns and always available to discuss them with the patient and family.