Every year at Thanksgiving, Engage with Grace asks bloggers to participate in a yearly “blog rally”, a term I’d never heard of before. Bloggers encourage their readers to spend a little time discussing end-of-life (EOL) values with their families while giving thanks. An excellent tool for this is the One Slide Project, which is found on the Engage with Grace website. The site gives suggestions on how to introduce the subject and facts on why it is so important.
On more than one occasion, I have watched families struggle to determine the best course for a loved one who could no longer decide for herself. Sometimes, family members from out of town are unwilling to give up their loved one and futile care goes on much longer than anyone anticipates, leaving a swath of guilty and angry family members and damaged relationships that can last for years.
On Tuesday night, the #HCLDR twitterchat centered around end-of-life issues. We had been thoroughly primed by Lisa Fields’ thoughtful blog post (@PracticalWisdom) and the thoughts flew fast and furiously. For a transcript, please click here. Above all, there was agreement that EOL discussions are important and if your primary care physician is not asking you what your wishes are, you should be telling him. Don’t wait until it’s too late and people that you don’t know or don’t want are making decisions for you. Make this holiday of thanks an opportunity for your family to understand your wishes. And you theirs.