Speak Up series focuses on end-of-life planning

The MedQuarter Regional Medical District announces an upcoming, three-part series focused on end-of-life planning. The Speak Up series, held at First Lutheran Church, 1000 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, is dedicated to helping people start talking about their wishes for end-of-life care.

The Speak Up series kicks off from 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 5 with national speaker B.J. Miller, MD.  As a doctor and triple amputee, Dr. Miller shares his life story about using his own experience to pioneer a new model of palliative care. He is an advocate for maximizing quality of life and minimalizing unnecessary suffering.

“Having those important conversations now can provide shared understanding of what matters most to patients and their loved ones, making it easier to solidify decisions when the time comes,” Phil Wasta, MedQuarter Regional Medical District executive director, stated in a press release.

The Speak Up series continues Nov. 2, focusing on medical and legal decisions surrounding end-of-life care. William Galbraith, MD, and attorney and award-winning author Jo Kline Cebuhar will share how the law works to ensure final wishes are followed. Facilitators will also provide individual assistance with documentation of decisions as part of an optional table top workshop.

The series will wrap up Dec. 7 with a community conversation about how spiritual perspectives and personal values affect end-of-life planning. A panel of Christian, Humanist, Jewish and Muslim leaders will lead the discussion and answer questions.

All three series events will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 1000 Third Ave SE, Cedar Rapids. The sessions are free and open to the public.