Letters to the Editor

Final choices

November 13, 2009

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To the editor:

Thank you so much for including the article “Few Americans make end-of-life wishes known,” in the Nov. 11 Pulse section of the paper. It is a newsworthy story and not because it saves money. We plan weddings, vacations, retirement and many other aspects of our living. Why not plan for our dying since we cannot escape this end?

The Lawrence Area Coalition to Honor End-of-Life Choices (CHEC) has addressed this issue in our community for the past eight years. Our mission is to provide education and information about the choices we all have at the end of life. It is about how we LIVE. These decisions are not just for those on Medicare. Any of us could face death at any time, and it is important to understand the choices available in health care today.

These choices need to align with what we consider quality of life, and the conversation doesn’t end with the physician, but needs to be shared with those we love. CHEC is always available to provide educational presentations on this subject.

Talking about dying is difficult, but worth the time. It eases the burden on patients and family when the written plan needs to be put in place.

As a final note, I agree with the statement that hospice is underutilized. Having hospice in the final months of life provides another avenue of support and comfort to the patient and family members.

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