Ask yourself these critical questions at every stage of your decision-making:

Should I go abroad for medical care?

1. Is this procedure offered locally? If not, why?

2. Am I able to access independent information about the effectiveness and safety of the procedure?

3. Is traveling abroad for medical care likely to have negativeimpactson others, including in your own country and your destination? If so, is my going abroad for care still justified?

4. If I have caregivers at home, will they be able to go abroad with me and help care for me when I return? What will that caregiver’s experience abroad realistically be like?

5. Have I discussed this decision with my family doctor or other medical expert? Will going abroad for care affect my relationship with my caregiving team at home?

6. Am I fully aware of the risks of receiving this procedure abroad and potential for long term follow up care?

What should I do before I go abroad?

1. Have I developed a plan for follow up care with my local medical team for both routine and emergency care and scheduled follow up care? What will I do if my local medical team won’t participate in my follow up care planning?

2. Will my complete medical documents from abroad come back with me in a language spoken by my caregivers at home? How can I ensure this happens?

3. Have I investigated my health insurance coverage for the procedure, travel insurance coverage, and the need for a living will?

4. Have I discussed with my medical team how much time I will need to recover before safely returning home?

5. Have I investigated the malpractice and patient protections in the country I’m traveling to? Who is liable for addressing any complications I have after I leave the country?

6. If I’m using a facilitator do I know their qualifications and whether they are being paid by the facility abroad?

7. Am I able to find independent assessments of the qualifications of the care providers and quality of the facility?

8. Have I considered steps to reduce any negative impacts from my travel on others? Will I share what I experience with others following my travel?

Don’t make a decision to leave unless you feel completely comfortable with your answers to these questions! Be informed, be safe, and be aware of the consequences of your decision!