The barriers to effective advance care planning are numerous. It is imperative that we, as patients, health care providers and members of society, overcome these barriers and remain active in pursuing our personal values and goals.
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) falls conveniently every April 16 so you can deal with the difficult matters of death and taxes all in one week. NHDD is one day when we're asked to put our own discomfort aside and think about the loved ones we leave behind.
This sense of one sibling being favored over another often comes to the fore in its ugliest form when a parent is dying, and there are adult children, and there have been no communications by the parents about their wishes.
For heaven's sake (if you believe in heaven, and even if you don't), do talk to your loved ones about dying. Whisper about it if you have to. It can't hear you. Need help? Here are three easy steps to get you started.
A person's last days may still be off in the distant horizon, but the yearning for a death that honors the life and the determination to remain a free person is palpable when thoughts turn to life's end.