Help Guides - Planning Ahead

Making Difficult Decisions

Invariably, at the end of life, terrible and difficult decisions must be made.  And rarely will it seem more important that you make the right decision.  In these moments, whatever your history has been with the person – however complicated your relationship has been – you want to do right by them.  But it can seem overwhelming to do that.  It often seems as though you are having to choose between a bad option and an equally bad option.  It may seem as though a terrible weight of responsibility has been foisted upon you.  Now, more than ever, is a time to seek counsel.  Consider what you know of the person.  If they have advance directives, read them.  Take some time to think about who this person was in life.  What was important to them, what core values they held.  If the person was religious, even if you do not share their religion, consult a religious leader (preferably one who knew they person well) for their counsel.  For yourself, you might find it helpful to talk all this through with a Chaplain.  Chaplains are well-versed in both religious traditions and the medical world, and can help you sort through your options.  They can also help you formulate questions to get more information from your healthcare team.