Advance care planning may be finding its tipping point

June 6, 2018

HonoringChoices_CLR4.1 million.

That’s the number of viewers John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” reaches with each episode. This past week, with help from famous actors, he advocated for naming a health care agent in a very profane-laden PSA.

Advance care planning may be finding its tipping point, when a transformation of behavior rapidly occurs. People are talking about death. More specifically, they are planning for it.

Locally, The Bellingham Herald highlighted PeaceHealth’s partnership with Honoring Choices PNW, and how members of the community could get started with their own planning. Last week, The Seattle Times published a piece on the challenges and fears around dying well. John McCain’s current battle with cancer serves as an apt point of reflection to consider the statistics and options.

On the national stage, Barbara Bush clarified her wishes before passing, issuing a statement that the 92-year-old declined further interventions, surrounding herself with “a family she adores.” And, NPR’s Weekend Edition spoke with a woman who hosts potluck dinners where people gather to do advance care planning. These “death Tupperware parties” begin with introductions: “I’m ____ and I’m going to die,” or some variation.

Malcolm Gladwell has written how little things can make a big difference. If you haven’t already, talk to your loved ones about your decisions. Write them down. Honoring Choices PNW wants this potential tipping point realized into a culture change, and you can help that happen. (Bonnie Bizzell)


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