Project Documents

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Richard L. Trott

Second Advisor

Lawrence Downing

Third Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Abstract

Problem. Advanced technology is currently available to prolong life, but often there is a lack of preparation or documentation of the family and family wish for end-of-life care. It has been estimated that between 18 percent and 30 percent of Americans have completed an advance directive. The percentage drops even further among Hispanics. Advance planning on end-of-life care is a process people can use to prepare themselves and their loved ones for dying. The purpose of the project was to develop and evaluate the participants’ response to a seminar to encourage family conversations among members of Hispanic churches on practical preparations for end-of-life decisions within the context of Christian stewardship.

Method. Competent adults, sixty years of age or older who are members of the El Divino Salvador Presbyterian Church and the Monrovia Seventh-day Adventist Church were invited to participate in the seminar. The Loving Conversations Seminar consisted of three one-hour sessions. The participants were asked to complete a pre-test on the first session and post-test at the final session.

Results. The seminar was effective in achieving 100 percent participation among the subjects in expressing their end-of-life wishes to their loved ones. There was an increase of 20 percent in the completion rates of power of attorney for health-care and in living will advance directives documents.

Conclusions. Advance care planning for end-of-life care is a complex process that involves the person’s values, faith, spiritual needs, knowledge, and concern for others. According to the participants of the seminar, a key motivator in expressing their end-of-life wishes to the family is to relieve their loved one from having to make difficult decisions on their behalf without knowing the person’s end-of-life care wishes. From a Christian’s perspective, the most important thing a person can do on the issue of advance care planning is to accept Jesus as his/her personal Savior. To know Jesus as one’s personal Savior brings peace and the assurance of eternal life.

Subject Area

Terminal care--Religious aspects--Christianity, Hospice care--Religious aspects--Christianity, Hispanic Americans--Hospice care, Hispanic Americans--California, Terminally ill--California, Church work with the terminally ill

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