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Doctors are pressing families to have ‘difficult conversations’ about death

Posted on 03 Apr 2020

It has been widely reported that Doctors are pressing families to have ‘difficult conversations’ about death.

It’s always been important to talk to loved ones about our wishes in respect of medical treatment, end of life care and post death but the current health crisis has made more people acutely aware.

Baroness Finlay, professor of palliative medicine at Cardiff University, recently told the Politics Wales programme

“What are the things that really matter to us?’ What are the conversations we should have with those we love, now – not tomorrow or the day after – and what do we need to tell them?”

Perhaps we have strong views. Perhaps if you’re already frail and become ill with this virus, you might feel you don’t want to go into hospital and be put on a ventilator.”

“You must let people know now so that things can be put in place for you.”

“Those conversations are difficult for everybody. They’re never easy. We all live thinking it won’t happen to us. But you have to think it might.”

On a practical level, it’s also important that families get the right legal documentation in place. Many of us know about the importance of having Wills but Powers of Attorney and Advanced Directives can be as equally important.

Our advice? Have the conversation, get the legal paperwork in place and then concentrate on living and enjoying what matters most!

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