The Consequence of Silence

The second annual National Healthcare Decisions Day is coming up on April 16, and there has never been more reason to consider what your own wishes are, and especially to make those wishes known. As difficult as it may be to think about the end of your parent’s, your child’s or your own life, not doing so—and not talking about it—can have unintended consequences.

According to Maggie Jones, studies conducted by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute revealed that not discussing your end-of-life wishes with your doctor was likely to lead to a more expensive death, a more painful death, and a more traumatic experience for your loved ones… the only thing it did not lead to was a longer life.

Talking about death and your end-of-life wishes does not have to be a difficult or painful conversation, especially if you don’t wait until the last minute. Dr. Anthony Back encourages people to “pace themselves by having ongoing end-of-life discussions, rather than waiting until there’s only time for one big, emotionally loaded conversation when the patient is near death.”

At our firm we agree with Dr. Back. We discuss your healthcare and end-of-life wishes during our planning sessions whether you’re 82 or 28, and we include your wishes as part of your estate plan by having you execute a healthcare directive.