We try to reduce how long and how intense patients and their loved ones must suffer from any terminal illness, especially those living with Advanced Dementia.
We strive to provide an “ironclad” solution so no one will ever consider premature, preemptive suicide for themselves, or consider “mercy killing” for their loved one.
One way to express this goal is
Plan Now, Die Later®—to Live Longer
Caring Advocates consists of a team of clinical, legal, and pastoral professionals who are dedicated to help people attain private, peaceful, and timely transitions.
We offer Advance Care Planning that includes:
- A unique patient decision aid—My Way Cards—that facilitates making decisions that reflect your values,
- An end–of–life intervention—Natural Dying—designed to be both effective and acceptable to those in authority, and
- Strategies that will motivate physicians and others to honor your end–of–life wishes or those of your loved ones.
In addition to planning, we offer active professional help in the final chapter of people’s lives.
We offer two Protocols for two kinds of people:
Strategic Advance Care Planning is for people who still have the mental ability to make treatment decisions.
Now Care Planning is for patients who have already reached the stage of Advanced Dementia but lack an adequate or effective living will.
The Natural Dying Living Will is Unique:
Compelling: Severe enough suffering is the single criterion used to determine
when patients want to die of their underlying disease.
Comprehensive: Patients (or their proxies/agents) judge over four dozen conditions that include what people dread most about prolonged dying in advanced dementia and other terminal illnesses.
Easy to complete: Illustrated and written at the 4th grade of reading comprehension, My Way Cards can be used by many patients in early dementia to make judgments about future possible conditions.
Straightforward to interpret: Physicians do NOT need to assess patients’ current suffering. Instead, physicians only need to determine if patients have reached a clinical condition that patients had previously judged would cause SEVERE ENOUGH SUFFERING for them to be allowed to die of their underlying disease.
Acceptable: The intervention “Natural Dying” (as explained) aspires to be accepted by authorities who view it as legal, ethical, moral, and consistent with the teachings of conservative religions.
Respectful: Avoids conflict that could lead to either prolonged or premature dying by:
(A) The interpretation of observed feeding behavior can lead to mistakes and either premature or prolonged dying;
(B) Use of “stage of disease” can be arbitrary and/or irrelevant;
(C) Physicians imposing what they believe is in patients’ “Best Interest” can be paternalistic and not reflect patients’ values; and,
(D) Relying on such vague terms as “indignity” and “quality of life” could be ambiguous and lead to prolonged conflict, or worse: it could begin a dangerous slippery slope where one group of people assumes they have the right to judge if the lives of other people are worth living.
Effective: Strategies can be added that strive to overcome more than 14 common challenges, rather than assuming—or hoping—that others will honor patients‘ clear and specific wishes.