What kind of mindset do you need to make a healthy End-of-Life plan? We found an excellent story from Katy Butler that examines the issue.
“Three-quarters of us say we want to die peacefully at home,” Butler writes. “But a fifth die mechanized deaths in intensive care units, often leaving their relatives traumatized.” Why do so few of us, particularly under the age of 60, “sign the precious pieces of paper that affirm our desire for medical minimalism and autonomy at the End-of-Life?”
Butler, author of the New York Times bestseller, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: the Path to a Better Way of Death” asserts maybe some of us fear, “If we talk about death, we’ll bring it on. Maybe we’re afraid letting nature take its course is tantamount to suicide. Maybe we don’t know our medical rights. So we do nothing.”
Facts are if you don’t have an End-of-Life plan in place, someone else will make the decisions for you, which often results in “maximum medical treatment” even when your family and doctors know they are “Hail Mary” procedures.
Butler offers insightful tips on how to approach writing an EOL plan:
- Know your rights: “Legally and morally allowing a natural death is neither euthanasia nor assisted suicide”
- This is an evolving act: “Signing a Living Will starts a sacred conversation with those you love”
- Involve your entire family: “There’s no better gift than helping a parent have a ‘happy death’”
- Advance Directives are not just legal documents: “You’re taking part in a rite of passage familiar to our ancestors by having the moral courage to contemplate death and getting spiritually prepared for it.”