Are My Affairs in Order? End-of-Life Decisions (with Matthew Tyler, MD)

Your Doctor Friends

Are My Affairs in Order? End-of-Life Decisions (with Matthew Tyler, MD)

February 20, 2024

Are My Affairs in Order? End-of-Life Decisions (with Matthew Tyler, MD)

What does it mean to “have your affairs in order”? Usually, this concept comes up after someone has died or diagnosed with a serious illness. “Did they/do they have their affairs in order?” 

What “affairs” are they referring to? Financial allocations? Healthcare power of attorney? Living will? The “legacy contact” for your iPhone??

It’s human to want to put off these decisions/plans since it forces us to confront our own mortality. It’s not uncommon to have the occasional existential crisis, and certainly those feelings are less than pleasant…

How can we make these things less scary and daunting?

What if you had a “doctor friend” to help explain end-of-life planning? Do you think you’d be willing to take action if you understood your options better?

Well, in today’s episode, we did just that! We have a wonderful expert in the field of Palliative Care to help us understand how to navigate end-of-life care, both for ourselves and for the loved ones in our lives.

Welcome, Matthew Tyler, MD!

  • Dr. Tyler was a fellowship-trained in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Northwestern University.
  • He is the Section Chief of Hospice and Palliative care at Ascension Healthcare.
  • He has been providing care for patients in their homes, in the clinic, and in the hospital for over a decade. 
  • He also has a BIG social media presence, with the Instagram and YouTube handle of “How To Train Your Doctor”, where he provides meaningful, kind, information regarding palliative care, hospice, and general end-of-life questions for everyone.
  • His website,, provides support and resources for navigating serious illness, and is totally free, and so incredibly helpful!

Topics covered in today’s episode include:

  • What is “hospice”? How is it different than “palliative care”?
  • How does someone qualify for hospice care? Is it covered by insurance?
  • Where is hospice care provided? In a hospital? Nursing home? At home?
  • What is a “healthcare power of attorney”?
  • What is a “living will”? How can you create one? Does “advance directive” mean the same thing?
  • What does “DNR” mean? Are there other options other than “do everything” and “DNR”?
  • What is “respite care”?

Dr. Tyler recommends the following resources:

PREPARE for your care– a free online resources to navigate end-of-life care.

Five Wishes– tools to guide decision-making for end-of-life care options.

The Medicare website “find hospice providers near me”.

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