Can you and your loved ones answer these questions?
1. On a scale of 1 to 5, where do you fall on this continuum: 1 = Let me die without medical intervention; 5 = Don’t give up on me no matter what, try any proven and unproven intervention possible.
2. If there were a choice, would you prefer to die at home, or in a hospital?
3. Could a loved one correctly describe how you’d like to be treated in the case of a terminal illness?
4. Is there someone you trust whom you’ve appointed to advocate on your behalf when the time is near?
5. Have you completed any of the following: written a living will, appointed a health care power of attorney, or completed an advance directive?
This Thanksgiving holiday, consider printing out this one slide and leaving it on a table or countertop where your loved ones will see it. It could spark a conversation that otherwise would not happen.
History side note:
The “one slide” was developed in 2008 by Alexandra Drane, Sarah Stephens-Winnay, Leigh Calabrese-Eck, and Arden O’Connor when they worked for Eliza Corp. Back then, when lots of people had personal websites, we would hold a “blog rally” and all post about Engage with Grace on Thanksgiving as a way to spark interest and engagement. I’m posting a day early to give people a chance to think about it. Make this the year you finally do it!
If you want a real nostalgia hit (or you weren’t part of the early blog/social media era and want to learn about it), I recommend Taylor Lorenz’s book, Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet. I’m a dozen chapters in and really enjoying it.
Image: Fall leaves, by Chris Weber on Flickr.