This article is on EOL Care Conversations in geriatric physicians. However, these points apply to all of us, regardless of age and health, whom want to engage in EOL conversations.
First, the physicians recognize that these conversations are valuable, yet this article states that very few actually have these conversations because of their lack of training and feeling unsure of how to have end-of-life care conversations.
Think about this....these are doctors, whom must of us look to for advice, yet they too, are uncomfortable on how to approach such topics. They also have limited time to spend with families, are uncomfortable of possible disagreements among family members and the patient, and not knowing when the time is right. It is never too early to begin these discussion, as we can then normalize these topics and begin to take time to process our wishes.
However, much training is needed for the physicians to have these types of conversations, as it's paramount to the well-being of the patients, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Death Doulas are a great resource, and if physicians and medical offices were willing to bring on DD's as part of their staff, these would be incredible resources that have been trained to have these conversations, and have the spend time answering questions and providing guidance.
In my opinion, we would then be meeting the needs of engaging in these powerful and profound discussions.