We are introducing a new conversation in our community that we hope will engage families and enhance our healthcare delivery. It’s all about how indecision can be a decision, and the value of deciding to be heard.
Everyday our work at Ohio’s Hospice is touched by families who are agonizing over end-of-life decisions. Every individual has a unique response to the questions of “what medical treatment is right for me?” “Is this effort to cure worth the side effects?” “Does this treatment and the suffering it involves significantly extend my life or alter the outcome?”
Too often, these questions are being considered for the first time. Indecision at a time of crisis becomes a decision of it’s own – one that can lead to turmoil, distress, anger and misunderstanding. When a patient becomes unable to speak for him or herself, families can be torn apart by arguments about what a loved one would or wouldn’t want. The trauma this can cause family members experience can have significant and life-long consequences.
That’s why we are encouraging members of our community to “Decide to Be Heard.” We are sponsoring a campaign to encourage families to have discussions about Advance Care Directives and take action to ensure their wishes are documented and honored. Decide to Be Heard enables every individual to express specific end-of-life choices in advance of serious illness. By initiating these discussions and enacting these documents, our families are strengthened and our healthcare community has more clarity in respecting the human dignity and rights of every patient.
We hope Decide to Be Heard will establish our community as a leader in the conversation about end-of-life that celebrates and honors individual decisions and the right to self-determined life closure. We are proud to help drive this discussion and hope you will DecidetobeHeard.org.
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