It’s time to talk to your Substitute Decision Maker, your family and your health team. These conversations may not be easy – but they will help you and your loved ones know what’s important to you.

Conversation Starters

There are many ways to get the conversation started! Remember, it may take a few attempts to get things started. Don’t feel like you have to have the entire conversation at once.

Be Straight Forward

  • “I have just filled out a workbook about my wishes for future health care and I want to share it with you.”
  • “My health is good right now, but I want to talk to you about what I’d want if I was sick and needed you to make decisions for me.”

Find an Example From Your Family or Friends

  • “Does anyone know how Jason’s sister died? No one ever talked about it. I wonder if she died at home or in a hospital?”
  • “Do you remember my friend Frank who was in a coma for a while? I wonder if there was any argument about keeping him on that ventilator?”

Blame Someone Else

  • “Pastor Jones was talking about our choices for health care if something happened, and I realized that I haven’t told you about my wishes – we should talk about that.”
  • “My doctor wants me to think about my future care and to make an advance care plan. Will you help me?”

Find an Example From the News

  • “Remember the man who was in a coma for years? I would never want that to happen to me.”
  • “That story about the family fighting about their mom’s care made me realize that we should talk about these things so the same thing doesn’t happen to our family.”

Watch this short video to see how others have had the conversation:

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