Chapter 7: Preparing for a medically assisted death
Helping children tell their story
Several family members didn't agree with Robert's choice so we prepared the kids for some of the comments that might come up.
What did they die from?
It’s common for family members, including children, to be asked this question. They don’t always know what to say, particularly when the death was medically assisted.
To help your child prepare for this question, it’s a good idea to ask how they might answer. If they’re unsure, you can help with some suggestions and practice them with the child. For example:
He died of cancer.
She had a medically assisted death because she was dying of ALS.
I don’t feel like talking about it. Thank you.
Please ask my parents.
When others don't approve
Not everyone agrees with medical assistance in dying. It's helpful to prepare children for this. Explain that people have different beliefs about ways of dying, and a decision that's right for one person may not be right for another.
- Ask your children to tell you if someone expresses their disapproval to them.
- Ask if they've already experienced this reaction. If they have, ask how they felt about it and explore ways they might respond in the future.
These conversations will give your child the tools they need to manage these situations.