Debut of My Way Cards
Dr. Stanley Terman, founder, CEO and medical director of Caring Advocates, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that helps people plan and carry out their end-of-life wishes. Dr. Terman created and has recently updated a new tool for Advance Care Planning, My Way Cards, to create a Natural Dying—Living Will (Natural Dying—Advance Decision). Two primary goals of sorting My Way Cards include: 1) to inform people what it is like to live with Advanced Dementia (and other terminal illnesses) using plain, straightforward descriptions that have almost no medical jargon or medical diagnoses, supplemented with illustrative line drawings to enhance understanding; and 2) to create a legal document that will be an effective Advance Directive. In his presentation, Dr. Terman will elaborate how through the process of sorting the cards, Advance Care Planners can make decisions about over 48 different items relevant for end-of-life care. Each item represents a symptom, loss of function, unwanted behavior, or conflict with lifelong values. The process of sorting the cards results in informing future decision-makers how the Advance Care Planner feels about each item. The overarching goal of Dr. Terman's research is to avoid future conflicts so that people can avoid a prolonged, burdensome process of dying such as lingering for years in Advanced Dementia with unrecognized and untreated pain and suffering.