End of Life Conversations Do Not Belong at the Office

Remember the death panel conversations? Well, a more sensitive term for this is an End of Life Planning Discussion. These are great things and everyone should be having them-not just the elderly. We never know when we’re going to get in an accident, be diagnosed with a terminal illness, or have a heart attack that lands us in ICU.

We also know that doctors tend to choose a less intensive end of life care than non-medical people. They know more than the lay person, so it makes sense that we should listen to them and learn more so that we can make informed decisions.

However, these conversations do not belong at the office. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company just announced their partnership with The Conversation Project, which provides kits and guidance for having these critical end of life conversations. Last April Goodyear distributed 24,000 of these kits to their employees and retirees.

Now, I think the Conversation Project is an excellent idea. I wish more people would talk about these things. I’ve reviewed their starter kit and I think it is excellent. However, I don’t think your company should be initiating these conversations. Not at all. At most, they should have it listed as a resource on the company intranet, but they should not be sending these packages out. Why? Here’s why.

To keep reading, click here: End of Life Conversations Do Not Belong at the Office

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4 thoughts on “End of Life Conversations Do Not Belong at the Office

  1. End of life conversation is not for the office. Period. No matter if your intentions are good or not, this is not something that you cannot talk about with you employees because you can end up with legal problems. Just keep these concerns for you, and everything will be all right.

  2. Unfortunately, I have a reputation of telling managers (and others) off when they hit me up for contributing to the office blood drive to to the Christmas United Way fund drive; if they ever started with an end-of-life talk I’d be talking to a lawyer; especially if I had a family member on their death bed when such talk happened.

    While it most likely doesn’t cross the line into becoming a hostile workplace it is rude none the less.

    1. Charles, the only benefit talking to a lawyer in that situation would be for the lawyer billing you for his time.

      Rude? Maybe.
      Illegal? Absolutely not.

  3. I got a job at the Masonic Cemetery in Burnaby, BC. The Secretary/Treasurer showed me around. He took me to a plot, “This is where I’m going to be buried.” Three months later he died and I buried him there. The old guy fell off a ladder.

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