about what you want
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Talking with other people can also help you think about what you want.

Talking about these difficult subjects can be the most challenging step in the planning process. While it may seem like you are burdening those around you, you are actually giving them a great blessing. By sharing this information you are empowering them to do what is best for you — to honor your values and dignity.

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Mr. Nakamura talks with his daughter…

Kenji Nakamura wanted to appoint his daughter Suzy to be his spokesperson. The first time he tried to talk to her about this, she said, “Dad, we don’t need to talk about this now, look how healthy you are!” The next time she came over, he decided to show her his future medical decisions in writing — Suzy now realized how important this was to him, especially when learning he didn’t ever want machines to keep him alive.

Have you had a conversation with your loved ones?

Who you should talk to

The most important person to talk to is your spokesperson. Speaking to other important people in your life can help prevent future confusion and conflict.

Family Members Health Care Providers Other Caregivers Friends Spiritual Advisor(s)

How to start the conversation

There is no “right” way or “right” time to start this conversation. Just set a time and see how far you get. It is common to revisit this information in stages. If you find that your spokesperson or loved ones are uncomfortable talking, here are some suggestions:

Share a story you have read here to start a conversation.
Remind them of a situation someone else experienced.
Think about friends or relatives who had an illness and faced a difficult situation.
Be firm and straightforward.

Having trouble getting your thoughts across?

It may be easier to get your thoughts across by writing your loved ones a letter — and/or even recording the letter by audio or video. Afterward, everyone may be more comfortable sitting down and talking.

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