Malignant mesothelioma is a cruel disease. This asbestos-related form of cancer can affect different people in different ways: for some the illness lands in their chest cavity and for others in their abdomen; some succumb quickly, in a matter of months, while others find that treatment can prolong their lives for a period of years. One way or another, the illness is always considered terminal, and as a result there are numerous important conversations that need to take place. Some of these involve medical treatment, while others involve making decisions about legal action and making financial arrangements.
Though discussing the end-of-life is difficult, it is important to approach for family members to address certain practical matters before mesothelioma makes their loved one too uncomfortable to make their wishes known and answer questions clearly. Some of the topics that need to be addressed include:
- Considering the mesothelioma victim’s visitors list. Time is precious in the final weeks of a terminal illness, so make sure that you know who they want to see and make arrangements for them to come. You may also want to discuss whether there is anybody that they would rather not spend energy or emotion on, as it is important not to upset or tax them. At the same time you can discuss who the patient would like to have with them in their final hours, including clergy.
- Ask where any important papers are located, and make sure that you have the answers to questions about the existence of various accounts, passwords, storage lockers and the like.
- Ask whether there are specific people who the person would like notified of their death. There are frequently people who are outside of the mesothelioma victim’s immediate circle that they want included, and these people may not be known to you.
- Find out what the patient would like in terms of their funeral services and burial or cremation arrangements. This can include identifying specific prayers or readings and who they would like to have act as pallbearers or to eulogize them.
- Determine whether there are any religious rituals or cultural customs that the mesothelioma patient wants observed at the time of their death or involving their burial or mourning period.
Though it can be hard to face the reality that mesothelioma is a fatal illness, by acknowledging the inevitable and speaking openly you can ensure that the mesothelioma victim’s wishes are honored. If you need information about legal options or preserving your rights, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.