Question: Do I need to have a conversation with my family about what to do at the end of life?
Answer: Yes, you do. Unfortunately, in today's fragmented healthcare system these conversations do not occur often enough. Most of us don't like to talk about these things, and it takes courage to address these issues with our loved ones. Several studies have shown benefits to surviving loved ones when a person has addressed these matters prior to a time of crisis. A living will or assignment of a healthcare proxy can be helpful, but even more helpful are discussions of our wishes with our loved ones. One way we show love and respect for our loved ones is to follow their expressed wishes in these matters.