We talk frequently in this space, and in the Coalition in general, about the need for people to have conversations about end of life care. As someone who helps facilitate these conversations, I can tell you from first hand experience that it is a difficult conversation to start with your own family. I tried to have this conversation within my family, and it did not go well.
There is definitely something to be said for having a trained professional schedule the meeting with families, and facilitate the meeting. When I am that professional, I do not have any emotional investment in the decisions that are made; my primary concern is to ensure everyone has all the information needed to make an informed decision. It's not that I don't care, rather, I will not judge anyone's decision, even if I disagree with it. It's not my place to judge anyone's decision. Family members will of course have stronger feelings, especially if they disagree with a decision that is being made.Having a neutral professional guide the conversation can help the identified patient say things and make decisions that are right for them, and help family members who may be struggling with the decisions understand the decisions.
Having a neutral professional facilitate the meeting can also keep conversations from becoming too emotional. These are hard things to talk about, but keeping the tone more neutral and matter of fact can help everyone talk openly.
There are lots of great resources out there to help people with these conversations, and we have some great resources on our