The Island Now

Doctor talks on end of life

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Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2016 11:27 am

The congregation of Temple Judea of Manhasset recently held a presentation at a Shabbat service by Dr. Steven Walerstein, associate chief medical officer of Northwell Health.

Walerstein explained the Conversation Project, which is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care and how it can provide understanding of what matters most to families and loved ones, according to a press release from Temple Judea of Manhasset. 

He distributed a “conversation starter kit” to further help each to approach end-of-life issues in a meaningful way. 

The emphasis is on having discussions and conversations over the course of weeks, months and even years in advance on how to deal with end-of -life decisions when they are needed.

This program is part of CHAT — Conversation: Health and Treatments — which helps to make advance directives easier to understand for families.  

Walerstein will also be speaking as a representative of the CHAT project, which is a joint initiative between Northwell Health and the Maurice A. Deane School of Law of Hofstra University.

Rabbi Chizner spoke on behalf of the Jewish view of having an open dialogue with loved ones on all matters — including death.  

He referred to knowing our loved ones’ wishes as a “blessing and a gift.”

Walerstein himself had experienced a life-threatening illness recently. 

He explained his own experience of discussing with his wife and family prior to his illness his preferences and desires regarding end-of life care, thereby making decisions about his own treatment and care easier to make.

Welcome to the discussion.