SPEAK UP SERIES:


End-of-Life Planning

Make Your Wishes Known

End-of-life isn’t an easy topic for anyone. However, having
the conversation now gives you time to discuss your wishes
for your future health and personal care. Talk with your trusted family members and friends about what you want – they can speak for you if you’re unable to speak for yourself. You may also seek legal advice, so you can be confident your legacy
is protected.

One conversation can make all the difference.

Why Talking Matters

Sharing your wishes for end-of-life care can bring you closer to the people you love. It’s critically important. And you can do it.

Consider the facts:

  • 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important.
  • 27% have actually done so.
    Source: The Conversation Project National Survey (2013)
  • 80% of people say if seriously ill, they would want to talk with their doctor about wishes for medical treatment toward the end of their life.
  • 7% report having had this conversation with their doctor Source: The Conversation Project National Survey (2013)

Speak Up Series on End-of-Life Planning

LEARN MORE FROM THESE PAST EVENTS

April 16, 2018
Palliative and Hospice Care Presentation

Cedar Rapids physicians Ken Cearlock, MD, and James Bell, MD, discussed the differences between hospice and palliative care and helped participants explore individual choices for end-of-life care.

Advance Care Directives Workshop

Following the presentation, participants who wanted to learn about and/or complete their personal advance care directives attended a workshop where area facilitators, attorneys and physicians assisted them.

Facing Life - October 5, 2017

Dr. BJ Miller is a renowned speaker on patient-centered care, palliative and end-of-life care. Drawing on his expertise as a physician and triple amputee, he is an advocate for a healthcare system that maximizes quality of life and that minimizes unnecessary suffering.

Medical and Legal Decisions - November 2, 2017

Understand what happens if end-of-life decisions must be made and you do not have advance directives. Cedar Rapids physician Dr. William Galbraith and attorney and award-winning author Jo Kline Cebuhar will share how the law works to ensure your wishes are followed. Afterwards, facilitators will provide individual assistance with documentation of your decisions at an optional table top workshop.

Spiritual Perspectives - December 7, 2017

Ask questions and participate in conversations about how personal values affect end-of-life planning. A panel of Christian, Humanist, Jewish and Muslim leaders will lead the discussion.


RESOURCES

End-of-Life Planning, Step by Step

It’s about conversations. Speak up! Don’t wait. Talk to your family and friends about what you want if, someday, you can’t communicate for yourself. Then, talk to your physician about the medical impacts of your wishes and talk to your attorney about the legal decisions you need to make.

It’s about decisions. Be clear. Don’t assume anything. Carefully consider all the possibilities. Do you want to be on life support? For how long? Do you want a feeding tube, or not? Do you want a do-not-resuscitate order? Don’t leave tough decisions to your loved ones. The more detailed you can make your living will, the less burden you place on your family later. Carefully choose one person as your medical power of attorney. This person should be very familiar with your wishes and willing to carry them out. Someone who is doubtful or uncomfortable about it isn’t the right person. It should only be one person with one alternate, not a group of people. Conversations and decisions make it more likely that your wishes will be followed and that your family will have peace of mind.

It’s about how we care for one another. By coming together as a community and emphasizing these conversations and decisions, we can encourage more people to commit to guiding their end-of-life care.

Download a printable card to keep in your wallet -
Speak Up Series Printable Card

Advance Directives

An Advance Directive is a document stating your health care choices or naming someone to make choices for you if you become unable to do so. Iowa law provides two types of Advance Directives:

The Declaration Relating to Use of Life Sustaining Procedures, known as a Living Will. Additional options include the Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (IPOST) and the Out-of-Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR).

Living Will - a written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive. [http://www.iowabar.org/?page=LivingWills]

Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (IPOST) - this document helps you communicate your preferences for key life-sustaining treatments including resuscitation, general scope of treatment, artificial nutrition and more. [http://idph.iowa.gov/ipost]

The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care which provides for someone you designate to make decisions for your medical care in the event that you are unable to do so. This is also called a health care agent, health care proxy or substitute decision maker. [http://www.iowabar.org/?page=PowersofAttorney]

Speak Up Series - In the News

Additional Resources

Local Assistance

Albert Einstein died after refusing surgery, saying: "I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly."

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