For most people, the culmination of a good life is a “good death”. But what does that actually mean?

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified 10 core themes associated with dying well:

  1. To have control over the process of dying
  2. To be pain free
  3. To be engaged with religiousity and spirituality
  4. To experience emotional well being
  5. To have a sense of life completion and legacy
  6. To have a choice in treatment preferences
  7. To experience dignity in the dying process
  8. To have family present and being able to say goodbye
  9. To have quality of life in the process
  10. To have a good relationship with health care providers

According to researchers, “we often see a difference between what patients, family members and health care providers value as most important near the end of life”.

The bottom line, they say, is to “ask the patient”.

“Patients know what they want or need and there’s a relief in talking about it. It gives them a sense of control. You can make it possible to have a good death by talking about it before.”

For more information about planning for the inevitable, email [email protected].