Questions Surrounding the Elephant in the Room?

Dying, disease, love, the right to choose the final exit, having to think about the unthinkable, these decisions find all of us at some point in our lives.  It is the unsaid, the deepest thoughts in our mind we are all forced to face one day with ourselves, parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents and children.  To some degree we all wish to life forever, believing that the innovation of technology and medical advancements will keep us healthier and therefore alive longer. It is in this denial state that we live.

Thinking of the Unthinkable

The key is living like every day is our last. When you choose to live this way, your perspective broadens. You notice the little things that you normally overlook.  The compassion, sensitivity, understanding that we hoard from our loved ones you now give freely.  You discover that you do not want to leave your love ones facing unthinkable decisions that come with dying and death. This is what I would think how most would feel. I know this is how I would feel. I would want to make my wishes known, prepare and take the necessary steps to ease the burden and pain of my passing. While no one wants to think about the end of their life, at least knowing the options might help to make things less stressful in an already overwhelmingly stressful time. 

Understanding the Barriers

We grow up dreaming what will be, the places we will travel too, and the lives we will lead. Thinking our time will come when we are old and grey in our sleep. However death doesn't always come on our own terms much like life. Failing to prepare can place not only emotional but financial burdens on loved ones. 

Some of the barriers:

  • Thinking loved ones know my wishes
  • Do not want to think about it
  • Morbid thought
  • Will do it later
  • Misinformed
  • Superstition
  • Cost

Understanding these barriers will allow you move forward and take the necessary steps to express your wishes and share them to minimize the burden and cost on your love one. 

$50 Billion on the Last Two Months!

The controversy surrounding right to choose the final exit still continues. It is no longer the question about the quantity of live but rather the question of quality. Some believe how and when we die is not for us to decide but Gods' and others wanting to past with dignity and without pain. However the suprising factor about the fact of dying is the amount of money being spent. It has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenses may have had no meaningful impact. 

In US alone last year, Medicare paid $50 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients' lives - that's more than the budget of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Education. The cost of dying by CBSNews

According to interview by CBS News with Dr. Byock who leads a team that treats and counsels patients with advanced illnesses stated, modern medicine has become so good at keeping the terminally ill alive by treating the complications of underlying disease that the inevitable process of dying has become much harder and is often prolonged unnecessarily". A  majority of Americans prefer to die at home, but 75 percent die in a hospital or a nursing home. So why is this happening? Why are we as a society letting the medical industry take advantage of us? Even though it is still a matter of debate, you can still take the necessary steps for unexpected events, to whom you want to make healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so by creating a will or written document.

What Can You Do?

Whatever the case may be don't let the taboo or superstition surrounding death preventing you from planning and taking care of your loves ones or expressing your final wishes. Take advantage of the time you have now and plan for the end of life before it is too late. For life on this earth is a fleeting moment, let the vanity of this world fade away and embrace what matters, your loved ones.

What would you want for your family to know, when you are not able? Express it!

If you haven't already addressed this important issue in your estate plan, you can utilize the following document in the "Make if Official" free resouces as a first step.


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Reader Comments (1)

Well said, death carries taboos in western culture that are unique to this part of the world. Perhaps, it's the ego or overinflated sense of self that western culture has mastered over the last few centuries. Simple prep could make the inevitable less burdensome for those left behind. Hope is not a plan. The cost stats for Medicare and the inherent waste is pretty shocking when you consider the outcome is always the same. Financial heroics, who do they serve? The elderly who wish to be at home surrounded by loved ones or the medical establishment’s padded pockets? Pretty thought provoking stuff.

May 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEA
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