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What are your choices for medical care you want, and don’t want, at the end of life?

Practical, medical and legal issues around death and dying will be the focus of a daylong workshop for the public.

“Death Happens: Let’s Talk About Your Choices” runs 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at the Center for Spiritual Living, 2224 Yew Street Road, Bellingham.

The event is meant for “any adult in this county,” said Marie Eaton, director of the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University, which is sponsoring the event.

“I really believe that we need to have these conversations while we are healthy and young,” she said of those who should attend. “I hope it’s more than people who know death is close.”

Speakers will focus on end of life choices.

They include stopping treatment, palliative sedation, deciding to voluntarily stop eating and drinking (also known as VSED), and Washington state’s Death with Dignity measure, which allows terminally ill residents, under certain conditions, to obtain a lethal dose of medication to hasten their dying.

Those attending will hear about challenges around end of life decisions when there is a dementia diagnosis, learn about the medical and legal issues raised by these decisions, and delve into how they can affect what organizers call the quality of death.

The hope also is that people will gain insight into when treatment may no longer be helpful, and may even prolong dying, and that family members talk to each other about these topics.

“These are important conversations for everyone,” Eaton said.

The cost is $20 to register ahead of time, or $30 at the door.

Register online, wce.wwu.edu/bsn/upcoming-events.

Details: Call Extended Education at 360-650-3308 or email ExtendedEducation@wwu.edu.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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