Definition of life Dr. Sharon Hamill

Gayana Parsegova, Opinion editor

“How many have you, have taken the time to speak to your families about Advance Directives?”

Dr. Sharon Hamill, the Faculty Director for the Institute for Palliative Care and Professor of the Psychology department of CSUSM, addressed this question to the audience.

Dr. Hamill alongside Cal State Psychological Sciences Graduate student, Madeline Rayón illustrated the significance of Advance Directive and being in control of your life decisions.

In their “What Gives Your Life Meaning” campaign entitled “Think, Talk, Document, Share: Advance Directives for Students,” they explained a step-by-step process in regards to what Advance Directive is, and how to go about handling it on April 18 during U-Hour in Academic Hall 102. Advance Directive is a written document that states a person’s final wishes when undergoing medical treatments, in the circumstance that they cannot speak for themselves.

“There is no right or wrong answer, anything can happen to you at anytime, so start considering now what you would want to do. Don’t wait until you are in the hospital to have an Advance Advocate. Plan ahead,” Dr. Hamill said.

Hamill encouraged the audience to begin dwelling on the thought of advance care planning. There is thinking, talking and documenting that is involved with the process.

Hamill advised to think about the preferences in case of being in a position of unconsciousness or in an accident, and create an open dialogue with close relatives and friends for them to know their preferences. She encouraged to create a document with information of one’s preferences in how to handle the body when one passes away.

Dr. Hamill encouraged students to explore the topic of this discourse and said, “Take the time to learn about ‘The End of Life Option Act’ in California and other laws, because the person who makes the best decisions about yourself is going to be you. You need to be looking into what everything is and the effects behind it, documenting it and sharing your preferences with your loved ones.”