I'm offering the upcoming course Having Your Voice to the End of Your Life at the Unitarian Society of Germantown starting in May. The following and many other questions will be addressed at a Seminar/workshop offered at the Unitarian Society of Germantown on May 12th (12:30-2:30), May 19th (1:00-5:00) and June 9, 12:30-2:30). To register, go to www.usguu.org or call 215-844-1157.
Facts about end of life care:
1. In a number of surveys 80% to 90% of people polled said that they would like to die at home with their loved ones around and pain free. Only 10%-20% achieve this aspiration. What would you want?
2. Between 10-25% of adults have legal documents with end of life care instructions. Many report that they have not reviewed them with their doctor and don't know where they are. Do you have them? When did you last review them?
3. Advanced Medical Directives (also called Living Wills) often lack sufficient specificity to provide the person making decisions for you with sufficient detail to know what you would want. If you have this document, is it detailed enough?
4. Advance Medical Directives are often ignored by the person who is caring for you. What if you can’t make decisions for yourself at these times? Do you have someone designated?
5. Many of the most celebrated cases of people whose life has been prolonged with no chance of recovery are in their 20s and 30s. They had not signed advanced medical directives regarding their care and their lives were prolonged for years in a vegetative state. Young adults need to prepare these documents as well. Do your children have these documents in place?
6. A Professor of Medical Ethics stated in the Philadelphia Inquirer (2/27/12) that Doctors often do not tell the full truth to patients about their health status, particularly when the diagnosis or condition is serious because they want to instill hope. What would you want from your physician?