Stephen Ministers learned recently about ministering to those making end-of-life care decisions. Following are several questions to think about:
- Why is it so hard to talk about death in our American culture?
- What can YOU gain by thinking about/talking about death?
- Do you think there is a possibility of a “good death”? If so, what would that look like to you? (Imagine specifics, like location, who is with you, etc).
- Is there ever a time when it is simply “time to die”? Is there an age, level of physical or cognitive functioning, presence of terminal illness, or other considerations that would create in you a sense of acceptance of the reality of death and a consideration of foregoing life-sustaining treatment?
- Who might best be able to make the decisions that you would want made for yourself? Is that person reasonably accessible?
- If you were in the late stages of a terminal illness, are there any forms of life support that you would want to accept?
Every adult, regardless of age and current health, should fill out an Advance Directive and Physical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). For more information about these forms and other end-of-life decisions, check the website for Gretchen Brauer-Rieke