Joining me today is Dr. Kim Fischer, a board-certified physician and anesthesiologist. Kim is also the founder of Lucid, an advanced care planning coaching service. Kim has practiced medicine for over a decade and is here to discuss what you need to think about when it comes to the difficult conversations surrounding end-of-life care and debilitating illness.
As an advanced care planning coach, Kim helps people get clear on what they want to happen to them should they end up in the hospital unable to speak for themselves. Then they meet with her client’s loved ones, create a plan for such an eventuality, and prevent ambiguity.
While it is great to have documents prepared in case of a situation, Kim has often found that simply having that document isn’t enough. It often cannot speak to a specific situation or simply doesn’t cover all the aspects of care or preparation that can be required. That’s why it is important to have these conversations with your family no matter how difficult they are.
Kim goes on to tell us how she came to her current path in coaching advanced care planning. An experience with a patient who had decided not to seek treatment for an abdominal aneurysm due to her beliefs and her wish to never receive blood products is what started her journey. This patient knew that eventually it would rupture, and when it did, she was unable to communicate her wishes. Her health care proxy was called and told physicians to do everything they could, going against the patient’s wishes.
It’s essential to have these conversations before an emergency occurs. A calm and clear space is needed to communicate these feelings and wishes, instead of decisions being made in a state of panic during a crisis. Ultimately these decisions are about what is important to you should something happen.