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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Bluestein

Talking About End-of-Life Planning

Updated: Sep 21, 2018

As we honor the courage with which Sen. John McCain faced his illness, this moment offers the opportunity to consider having important conversations with loved ones about end of life care.

It's always too soon, until it's too late. That's what many people experience when they put off important conversations about their preferences surrounding end of life care. The recent passing of both Aretha Franklin and Sen. John McCain after long illnesses, presents an opportunity to discuss the importance of advance care planning, which includes important decisions about one's future medical care. These discussions and decisions, along with the drafting of an advance directive and the appointment of a health care agent, are truly gifts for families who will be spared additional stress making medical decisions for a loved one too ill to speak for themselves.

Despite the fact that most Americans think it is important to talk about their own and their loved ones’ wishes for end-of-life care, surveys show less than one in three adults have completed an advance directive. Lack of awareness is the most frequently reported reason. Other reasons include feeling too young or healthy, concerns about cost or complexity to complete an advance directive, and differing cultural or spiritual views and values on death and dying.

Visit our Advance Care Planning page for more information and resources to help start these important conversations and complete an advance directive. Read CNN's coverage of this topic here:

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