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Chew on this: death & dinner

Posted on 01/05/2015

U-T San Diego– Pass the peas and the awkward silences, please.

On the menu the first week of 2015 for thousands of American families is the tricky — some would say distasteful — topic of end-of-life care.

A national campaign to break bread and cultural taboos is urging people to put on the table their wishes for living out their final days with so-called Death Over Dinner gatherings from today through Jan. 7.

In between finalizing their guest lists and entrée recipes, dinner hosts can download a Conversational Starter Kit from deathoverdinner.org to help uncork such food-for-thought nuggets as: Do you want to live as long as possible, no matter what, or is quality of life more important than quantity? Where do you want to receive end-of-life care, at home, at a nursing facility or a hospital? And what kinds of aggressive treatment would you want, or not want, such as resuscitation if your heart stops, breathing machines or feeding tubes?

More often than not, experts say, families confront these questions when it’s too late, not in the comfort of their homes, but in hospital emergency rooms, ICUs and even courtrooms.

Read the full article here.