This introduction to end of life decision making is an interactive conversation intended to:
1) start a dialogue about why this topic is so imperative to discuss
2) address common barriers many face when attempting to address the issues
3) inform attendees about the multiple components of a comprehensive dialogue
4) identify values and goals essential to understanding and communicating care preferences
This session’s focus is to enhance comfort and confidence in creating and communicating a “quality of care plan” that accepts our mortality, identifies goals of care and translates those goals of care with an infusion of individual beliefs and values.
Barriers to this process- fears, taboos and lack of knowledge- are addressed and dispelled about a topic too seldom discussed. The ramifications of the lack of discussion are explored with recent statistics about death in our society- hospitalized, medicalized and not in alignment with patients’ stated preferences.
The focus of this presentation centers on what living well truly means to each attendee; quality of life and quantity of life are explored in a discussion of what gives each of our lives meaning. What makes our life worthwhile? What can we not imagine life without?
Because every medical scenario cannot be imagined, overarching ideals will be pinpointed. However, some key medical language is introduced in an effort to aid attendees in correctly realizing and translating their end of life preferences. Concepts of intensive care, DNR, CPR, artificial nutrition and hydration are discussed.