Should we have anything to say about when and how we die? What experiences have shaped your views, tested or challenged your values and beliefs?
We're looking for stories that might be used as part of a prototype for a new TV series now in development. The series will be about many different topics, but we felt stories on this topic could be good examples of the approach we want to take, which is to gather stories that reflect a broad range of personal experiences and values.
Your story could be published on this site, or, if you're willing, it could become part of the prototype. Please give us your contact information in the form on the right, so we can be in touch if we're considering it.
Below are a few questions that will give you an idea of what we're looking for. They're guidelines, not a checklist, so please answer the questions that make sense to you.
Oh, and one more thing: you might want to read through some of the stories already on this site before you submit your story.
I. For Patients:
- Describe the history of your illness. How long have you been living with the diagnosis?
- Have you talked with your family and/or health care providers about your own death? If so, please describe the conversations and the wishes you shared.
- Have you made a living will or advance directive? If so, what does it say? How did you come to make the decisions outlined in the directive or will?
- Are there state laws or medical protocols that make it easier or harder for you to get what you want?
- How has living with a chronic or terminal illness affected your views about deciding how or when to die?
II. For Family Members/Loved Ones/Friends:
- Please describe your experience with a terminally ill, dying or incapacitated loved one, using the following questions as guides:
- Have you had a conversation with a terminally ill loved one about their death? Please describe your loved one's wishes.
How has this affected you and your family?
- If you didn't have a conversation, please describe what happened at the end of your loved one's life.
How did this affect you and your family?
- Were there state laws or medical protocols that made it easier or harder for your loved one, you, or a family member to follow your loved one's wishes? What happened?
- Did this experience solidify or shift your beliefs about how and when people should die, or what resources or rights should be available to them?
III. For Healthcare Providers:
- As a doctor, nurse, social worker or other health professional, describe an experience (or several experiences) caring for a terminally ill, dying or incapacitated patient. What conversations did you have (if any) with the patient(s)? What conversations did you have with the patient's family(ies)?
- Describe what happened around your patient's death.
- Were there state laws or medical protocols that placed limits on your patients or on you? Did they made things easier?
- Did the experience shift or solidify your views about how the medical system should care or counsel people at the end of life?