Why Talk?

The Power to Care For and Protect the People You Love

When asked, most people say they hope to spend the end of their lives at home,
 free of pain and in the company of the people they love.
...without advance planning this is not likely to happen.

In a country where we cherish the right to make our own health care decisions, why is it so few of us have exercised this right when it comes to decisions and preferences for end-of-life care?

The fact is most Americans spend their final days and weeks in a hospital, in pain, subject to an endless stream of medical interventions. Having a ‘good death’, the ability to die in the place you would choose, can be extremely difficult without good communication. Studies show that when patients and their loved ones discuss end-of-life issues early on, patients are more likely to have a peaceful death and their loved ones are less likely to suffer from prolonged grief and depression.

Extraordinary medical breakthroughs have created a culture of belief that anything is possible and death is an option. We do not protect one another by avoiding the subject. On the contrary, one conversation can mean the difference between a traumatic death and a peaceful one.

Plan in advance, before an illness or a crisis. Learn about options and how to make informed decisions. In those situations where capacity to make decisions is lost, families will suffer less trying to guess what to do. Let's find our way back to knowing how best to care well for the people that matter to us.