Cardinal, LLC © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Share Your Story - NEW for 2019!
Have you ever wondered how you'll be remembered? Or, IF you’ll be remembered? If so, it’s time to consider the various options available today to record and to share your stories with family and friends. Stories serve to inform, amaze, enlighten, and enrich the lives of those left behind. Your story is worth sharing. In fact, it’s priceless!
How Will Your Story End?
Although we live in a death averse society, you have probably thought about how you want your journey to end. If you are like the majority of people in our country, you want to die at home—surrounded by your family and friends. But the sad reality is this—most people don’t get what they want at the end of life. Due to circumstances and the domino effect of acute, aggressive care—far too many people die in the sterile, unfamiliar, dehumanizing environment of an ICU. So, the question is this—How can we reclaim authorship of our ending?
In Search of the “Right” Answer
Over the past fifty years, advances in medical care have outpaced our ability to comprehend the ethical implications of our health care decisions. Consequently, knowing the basics of bioethics is beneficial to you and your family when confronted with medical dilemmas. Bioethics is the study of controversial, ethically complex, medical situations that arise due to biological and medical advances. Bioethics doesn’t serve as a crystal ball—no magical answers! However, by understanding the basics of bioethical discourse, we can more competently assess the available options and the subsequent ethical implications of our actions. There is no one “right” answer, but we can work to discern the “right” answer for ourselves and our families. We will specifically address the issues of physician-aided death, palliative sedation, and artificial nutrition and hydration at the end of life.
Plotting and Planning: Advance Directives, Ethical Wills, and Final Arrangements
Western society is depicted as death averse and youth affirming. We spend an inordinate amount of time, attention, and money attempting to retain a youthful appearance that then masks the reality of our mortality. Our reluctance to engage in the advance care planning process is rooted in our fear of death. It takes courage to consider what is beyond this life—to contemplate the unknown, the mysterious. Perhaps, if we reframed the process in terms of how we choose to live, we would be more inclined to articulate our wishes.
There is HOPE in HOsPicE
Contrary to popular belief, hospice is not a four letter word, nor is it something to be feared. Hospice is a philosophy and model of health care designed to serve persons in compassionate, life giving ways. So why does the word cause such angst and trepidation for patients and families? More often than not, our reactions are rooted in a lack of knowledge, fear of death, denial, and avoidance. Take the first step in overcoming your fears by learning how hospice and palliative care can serve you and your family. We will review the historical roots of hospice care, the evolution of contemporary hospice care, and the “state of the union” regarding hospice and palliative services in the United States. Remember, there is HOPE in HOsPicE!
Today's end-of-life rituals often look quite different from the rituals of previous generations. Not everyone resonates with a traditional funeral or memorial service. So people are choosing to put a personal spin on ritual. It's important to realize that ritual doesn't just happen! Creation of meaningful end-of-life rituals is a collaborative process requiring time, attention, and intention.
Dying to Know: How Death Informs the Lived Experience
Death is a question of ultimate concern for every human being. How we choose to engage the question is dependent on our attitudes and beliefs regarding death and dying. Our attitudes about death inform our behaviors, and our behaviors influence our experiences. By reviewing historical attitudes and approaches to death, we recognize the importance of overcoming our fears related to death in order to live fully present to the moment.