Talking About End of Life Care

Apr 10, 2015

Many of us have a clear idea about how we would like to be cared for at the end of our lives, but communicating those wishes to family members can be difficult.  A new campaign called, “Honoring Your Wishes” is designed to help people start important conversations about end of life care. 

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Jane Dohrmann of Iowa City Hospice, the director of the “Honoring Your Wishes,” and Dr. David Clark, Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Iowa and a palliative care physician at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

Medical intervention can act as a "bridge" to sustain life but can also create a "trap of suffering."

Dohrmann emphasizes the importance of not only communicating your wishes to family members and physicians, but translating your wishes into legal documents. She says too many people wait until it’s too late to have these conversations that can save a lot of pain and suffering. 

Clark encourages people to be open and frank with their physicians. Medical intervention can act as a “bridge” to sustain life but can also create a “trap of suffering.”  He says the most important thing for you to do is to decide who will be your voice, or your power of attorney, if you can no longer speak for yourself. 

April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day. “Honoring Your Wishes” will be screening the documentary “Consider the Conversation 2: Stories about Cure Relief and Comfort” at the Senior Center in Iowa City at 6pm.