Talking about death and dying is difficult. It becomes exponentially more difficult when death is near, and decisions need to be made during a very emotional and stressful time.
Planning for end-of-life care is about deciding now how you want to be cared for during the final hours or days of life. Or in the case of a terminal illness, how that care should proceed as the disease progresses and you are unable to convey your wishes.
To clearly, and legally, establish wishes for end-of-life care there are advance directives. These are legal documents that define who will speak for you and is entrusted to make health care decisions when you cannot make them yourself. A Living Will describes the kind of life-sustaining treatment you do or don’t want in case you unable to tell a doctor yourself. A Durable Power of Attorney for health care allows you to name a person who will make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself.
The best way to plan for the end-of-life it to have the difficult conversations before they are medically necessary.
Mac Brillhart, Dr. Vipul Bhatia, MD, and Roberta Geidner
NPR journalist to be keynote at HippoCamp in Lancaster
Also, Journalist Jacki Lyden has seen mental illness, war, the destruction caused by terrorism and fashion up close. She’s written and reported on all those topics and much more throughout her 40-year career at NPR. Lyden served as a foreign correspondent for NPR in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other places overseas.