While Americans strive to control nearly every aspect of their lives, many abandon control of life's final passage. But the realities of 21st-century medicine will allow most of us to have some say in how, when, and where we will die if we take a few simple free action steps. If not, those decisions will be made by others. The implications for us personally, for respect of our individual values, and for our loved ones are primary, but there are legal and financial aspects as well.
Dan Morhaim, M.D. brings practical guidance and empowerment to this challenging and universal topic, one we tend to avoid but ought not to. He'll draw on his experiences as a physician and state legislator with true-life stories and up-to-date medical and legal information to make the case that advance care planning is a necessity for every adult.
Dr. Morhaim brings a unique background: emergency medicine physician, Maryland state legislator (House of Delegates1995-2019), Hopkins faculty, consultant, author. His books (see www.thebetterend.com) have been endorsed by Maya Angelou, Sen. Ben Cardin, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Dr. Leana Wen, Tara Brach, and many others.
All BMAV members are warmly invited to attend this popular shared interest discussion group led by Chris Palmer. So many of us die badly and expensively -- in fear, in pain, hooked up to tubes and ventilators, being overtreated, and in an ICU instead of being surrounded by loved ones at home. We can do much better, but to do better (i.e., die peacefully, gently, painlessly, and with life tasks completed) requires planning and forethought.
Talking about death and dying may seem like a challenging conversation, but in our Aging Well meetings, it is fascinating, constructive, and useful.