The Seminar, individual consultations and presentations


Small Seminar/Workshop Study Groups

It takes careful reflection and serious conversation to sort out what “your voice” might be.  That is, what you would want as your life comes to an end.  Do you want to be at home? In a hospital? Have Hospice? In an intensive care unit (ICU)?  And under what circumstances would you want these responses?

Study groups are available in a variety of formats for an eight to ten hour period of time.

Participants will be able to do the following.

  • Learn about the state of the field of end of life care including the costs and challenges to having your voice to the end of your life.
  • Complete twelve pages of directives plus cover sheets with relevant and important information.  The forms address what you would want if you were unable to make decisions regarding your own health care.
  • Considering  “gray areas” is essential.  These are circumstances where you may be partially impaired in terms of your ability to make decisions.  There are two more directives which address “gray areas”.
  • Develop a plan to present your decisions to both your loved ones and your physician and have a conversational strategy for making your wishes known.

The cost for four two hour session is $320.00 per couple.

Individual Consultations

Developing your Medical Proxy Documents can be done in individual Consultation with Dr. Peterson.  It is highly recommended that both the grantor of the proxy and the proxy holder participate together so that maximum dialogue about the wishes and desires can be reviewed and clarified.  This work can be accomplished by phone if necessary.  During the consultation you will:

  • Learn about the state of the field of end of life care including the costs and challenges to having your voice to the end of your life.
  • Complete four of directives plus cover sheets with relevant and important information.  The forms address what you would want if you were unable to make decisions regarding your own health care.
  • Consider gray areas by completing out two additional forms.  These are circumstances where you may be partially impaired in terms of your ability to make decisions
  • Complete a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care document.
  • Develop a plan to present your decisions to your loved ones and our doctor with the support of your proxy.

Consulting with Families by Telephone  a Testimonial

Our family, consisting of four couples and one single, in two generations, asked Dr. Mark Peterson to lead us, steer us, nudge us, through a discussion of end-of-life choices and issues. We all got his book, YOUR LIFE, YOUR DEATH, YOUR CHOICE and worked our way through it before our phone meeting with him. We found the options for care and number of choices to be almost intimidating! We needed guidance and are so thankful that Mark worked with us by telephone. It felt daunting to tackle the concepts and decisions on our own.

It was a hard and wonderful process! It would have been so much harder to do without Mark’s expert help. He is an excellent listener, catching nuances in someone’s concerns, finding questions that were waiting to be asked, understanding how to lead us forward in our discussions. Mark was able to explain the nuances—and often the outcomes—of the choices. Mark is a deeply empathetic and compassionate man.

 Our first “meeting” was via conference call, since we were in four different places. Our second was via Skype with Mark because our family was gathered in one place. Being all together helped to keep the conversation going after our discussion with Mark and allowed us to better understand each person’s choices and concerns.

We highly recommend that others work with Mark in the way we did. We all feel so good about the conversations that we had with him. We learned so much about ourselves under his guidance and made choices that will help the whole family when the time comes.

 

A Testimonial by the Family of a Man With an Incurable Progressive Illness

After attending a lecture by Mark Peterson, entitled  Avoiding Suffering  By Embracing Mortality, we bought Mark’s Book “YOUR  LIFE,  YOUR DEATH, YOUR CHOICE: How to Have Your Voice to the End of Your Life, for all members of our family and planned a serious conversation about D who was afflicted by a progressively debilitating lung disease caused by the 9/11 attack.

Specifically we wanted to know what did D want – was he clear about what he wanted – could we honor his wishes – could we even understand his wishes – what were our own thoughts about our own end of life – could we even talk about our individual thoughts – how would David feel about hearing what we were thinking about what might be ‘right’ for him – could we listen to him – could we honor his wishes?

It turned out to be one of the most wonderful, intimate times our family had ever had.  Certainly the depth of our conversation touched each of us in very profound ways.  And, we learned that listening and sharing could lead to a great deal of comfort for us all.

Thank you Mark for giving us the tools we used to reach the place we were in during David’s last days.  We will be forever grateful for your insightful work and guidance in working thru the clutter in our minds to get to a place of clarity and love.

 

 

Presentations

United Church of Christ, Tiburon, CA.  “The Toughest Choices You’ll Ever Make” 2013

Temple Beth David  “How to Have Your Own Voice to the End of Your Life” 2013

The Transition Network   “Introduction to Having Your Voice to the End of Your Life” 2014

OLLI Temple University Friday Forum.  “Four Short Videos That Could Change your Life”.  September 2016.

Positive Aging “End of Life Planning: What’s it all about?” 2015

Friends in the City   “How and Why To Start A Conversation about the End of Your    Life During The Holidays”.  November 2016

Friends in the City   “Five Short Videos That Could Change Your Life”

The Einstein Circle, Sarasota, Florida:   “Five Short Videos That Could Change Your Life”.  February 2016

CHANS Hospice, Brunswick, Maine “Making End of Life Conversations EasierJuly 2016

 Philadelphia Public Library “YOUR LIFE, YOUR DEATH, YOUR CHOICE   A book to help you “have the conversation”.  November 2016.

Penn Wissahickon Hospice “Five Short Videos That Could Change Your Life”, January 2017

Freeport, Maine Public Library.  Author presentation April 2017.

Cathedral Village Retirement Community:  “Four Short Videos that Could Change Your Life”.  May 24, 2017.

Cathedral Village Retirement Community: “Reviewing and Updating Your Advanced Medical Directives”.  (Three 90 minute sessions in workshop format)  June 2017

Friends in the City  “Having the Death You Hope for:  Forces That Compromise End of Life Decisions”.  October 5th, 2017

1st  Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA “ Avoiding Suffering by Accepting Your Mortality”,  November 17, 2017

St. John’s Meadows Retirement Community, Rochester, NY  “The Ins and Outs of Advanced Medical Directives:  Some Things You May Not Know.” December 6, 2017

Syracuse Veterans Administration Department of Psychiatry, “Existential Fear, Conversation Anxiety, and Flawed Decision Making”.  December 7, 2017

Pending:  “Five Strategies to make  “End-of-Life Decisions Easier”

Positive Aging International Conference, Philadelphia April 3, 2018 “Positive Aging and Planning for End of Life”.

OLLI Temple (for the Life Planning Network) 4/3/18.  “Effective advocacy for the end of life… a workshop format.”

Peconic Landing, Long Island NY.  4/16/18 “Four Short Videos That could change your life”.

Camden Hospital, Camden, ME 5/1/18.  “Decision Making and ‘having the conversation’ when the End of Life is an Issue.”

Philadelphia LGBT Elder Community 5/19/18.  “Empowered End of Life Decision Making:  How to Have Your Own Voice When it Really Matters.”

Philadelphia Bar Association 6/6/18  Continuing  Education  “Legal and Psychological Issues in Assisting Clients to Complete Advanced Medical Directives”.

Life Planning Network 10/25/18 A national Webinar sponsored by the Network.     “The Final Life Plan… It’s harder than you think”.

OLLI Temple “Your Final Act: Mastering Your End” for a course on Mastering the Art of Senior Living, November 6, 2018.

OLLI Temple “Effective Advocacy for End Of Life.” April 13, 2018 for a class entitled Mastering the Art of Senior Living.

1st  Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA 11/18/18  Living an Examined Life:  What Matters Most to You?

 

 

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