December 22, 2011

theresa-brown2Theresa Brown does it again. Today’s New York Times includes a compelling op ed by her titled “Looking for a Place to Die”  on the problems that people face in being able to die with support and care.  While some may think that the holiday season is not the right time to talk about these issues, it’s the loving thing to do with family or friends who may have the responsibility to make decisions and care for you if you’re dying. Read the online comments in response to the op ed. They overwhelmingly speak to the contrasts of experiences for the dying and their loved ones when hospice care is available and when it’s not. Do you have a written advance directive or health care proxy designated? Has your loved one completed these documents and talked with you about his or her preferences at the end of life? If not, what are you waiting for?

Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing and Co-Director, CHMP