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Making Compassionate Decisions for Loved Ones Without a Voice

Tough decisions are even harder when they about a loved one who isn’t capable of offering his or her own opinion. Whether the loved one is an aging parent, someone afflicted with dementia or Alzheimer’s, a stroke victim, a disabled child or someone with a severe brain injury, making the “right” decision is never easy, but with compassion and caring it can be done.

Bioethicist Viki Kind, author of The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can’t, has developed an adaptable system for making such decisions. Asking questions and using specific strategies, Kind seeks to empower readers to make the decisions that need to be made.

The Caregiver’s Path “teaches readers how to make the difficult, complex decisions,” Kind says. “My book provides an insider’s view and practical help when negotiating the healthcare process.”

The book is designed to be a process book, not a reference book, that can be used as a tool in making tough decisions ranging from taking away the car keys to end-of-life choices.

The book discusses:

■ The four tools that make decision-making a compassionate process.

■ The five steps needed to determine whether a patient can make a decision, who should be making the decision, and how a decision should be made.

■ Strategies for caretakers and professionals to use when making decisions for those who can’t.

■ How to protect the caregiver from burnout.

■ The Platinum Rule—treat people as they would like to be treated.

■ Making the tough decisions, including end-of-life ones, with integrity instead of guilt. 

The Caregiver’s Path “gives people back their power, dignity and voice by teaching others to be great decision-making partners for them,” Kind says. “When speaking for someone who can no longer speak for themselves, we ultimately must respect what was important to that person.”

For more information about the book, please visit

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