Now some of you may laugh at this question and others of you may be nodding your heads in complete understanding. Honestly, this is a question I was asked earlier this year at a community presentation and the person asking it was very serious and concerned. Superstition is alive and well in the world in which we live and when it comes to dying no one wants to tempt fate. Believe it or not, this is also one of the reasons why people do not complete a financial power of attorney. They are afraid that if they do, it will be needed immediately and they are doing just fine anyways, thank you very much.
We are all driven by our culture and the world in which we live and were brought up. Superstition is defined as “a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing.” How true it is. Death has such ominous significance for most of us but the key point is that it is a belief not based on reason or knowledge. My hope is that I can help people over this hump to the point of realization that their fear is unrealistic so that they can move forward and complete their advance care plan and give the gift.
As I mentioned last month, death, serious illness, and injuries do not happen only to the elderly but also to young people and even children. It occurs when it does, unaffected by whether a plan is in place or not. And that is extremely important because if your plan is not in place then you have lost control because no one will know what your desires are. You will not have had the conversations that are so necessary in allowing people to treat you as you wish to be treated. You will leave a huge burden on your friends and loved ones as they try to guess the best direction for your care and wonder if they are doing what is right for you and what you would have wanted.
So don’t let superstition drive your direction. Talk to your loved ones, tell them what is important to you, and share your feelings and beliefs so that you can help them along the way to helping everyone do the right thing. If you need assistance in working through these discussions or your superstitions, we would be happy to help. That’s what we do. If you can do it on your own, go forth and get it done. The most important thing is that you have the conversation and document your desires in your advance directives for everyone to see and use.
Have ‘The Conversation’
Give ‘The Gift’
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www.mjmarkley.com (301) 744-7656
Sig notes: A registered nurse with more than 30 years’ experience helping people deal with ethical issues in both healthcare and business, Jane Markley is a board-certified healthcare executive who has chaired and works on hospital ethics committees; speaks and consults on advance care planning and ethical dilemmas; and teaches ethics in both healthcare settings and corporate environments. Check her website, www.mjanemarkley.com.