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Guidance for an End-of-Life Decision Maker

by Viki Kind, End-of-Life Expert
April 09, 2014

Question: I am struggling with making end-of-life decisions for my ailing mother. What are some key points I should remember while preparing a plan for her?

Answer: I see so many families devastated by having to make the difficult life and death decisions because they aren’t sure if they are doing the right thing. You can encourage and support your decision maker even when you can’t speak for yourself by using some of the reference points mentioned below. They are designed to help you give moral and emotional support to those who are now in charge of caring for you.  

1.  This is why I chose you. __________  
2.  This is what I need you to do for me while I am in the hospital. _________
3.  I know it may be difficult for you to make these medical and end-of-life decisions for me.  But I want you to know that __________.

Even in the best situations, it is difficult to be the decision maker for a loved one. Please make it easier by communicating with your loved ones before they are placed in a stressful medical situation.

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Viki Kind is a clinical bioethicist, professional speaker, and hospice volunteer. Her book, The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices For Those Who Can't,” guides families and professionals through the difficult process of advocating for those who can no longer speak for themselves. She has recently launched a DVD that includes a template to create a quality-of-life statement.

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