LISTEN: The Hardest Conversation You’ll Ever Have, Part 2 (Preparing for the Inevitable #28 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Shannon L. Alder. He said, “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Hardest Conversation You’ll Ever Have, Part 2” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

— Having a Discussion

In such conversations, caregivers or potential caregivers should ask how someone would like to die. Hospital deaths and at-home deaths are different ways of dying, not just different locations. Someone who wants to have everything possible done to keep him alive will want to be where the most medical options are available, though it may limit time with family and spiritual activity. Someone whose ultimate wish is to be among family in a comfortable and familiar place will probably need to forgo some medical options. Learning this and other desires of parents, siblings and friends is often necessary for those who are terminally ill. It is a conversation between caregiver and patient, where each needs to be heard.

Caregivers cannot leave the conversation to others. Doctors are notoriously bad at it. “I’ve heard doctors say ‘Do you want us to do everything possible for you if your heart were to stop or if you were to stop breathing?”‘ says David Fisher, a hospice doctor who began practicing end-of-life care after frequently seeing it badly done. “Well of course the family would say they want you to do everything possible. That’s not the way to ask the question.”

A January 2010 study published in the journal Cancer confirms Fisher’s analysis. The survey of four thousand doctors found that just one quarter would be willing to discuss hospice or the patient’s preferred site of death when the patient was judged to have four to six months to live. The doctors said they would rather begin those discussions once there were no more treatments to offer. This is despite guidelines that ask doctors to talk with patients about these issues when they still have a full year of life left.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.