Death and dying, that uncomfortable conversation.

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Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014 6:20 pm | Updated: 9:38 am, Tue Jan 7, 2014.

It's not something we talk about, it makes us uncomfortable and has many squirming in their seats, but, like it or not, it's never too early to discuss the timely controversial topic on the right to end or extend life.

Holocaust educator, Dr. Helen Fagin, has looked death in the eye. She said the decision to end life is an individual one. She further explained, "It is a question of what cultural, or religious and other influences are within the immediate circle surrounding the person in question."

But, all too often, the dying person's wishes may not be met because they weren't known or protected.

Jason Cannon, of Florida Studio Theater, coordinated a panel of experts to speak on aging. "We've been interviewing dozens and dozens of people in our community asking these incredibly difficult questions."

These included ethical and legal issues facing the senior community, including death and dying.

He said, "I have been finding that the elderly do want to talk about it, it's the younger people that don't want to talk about it."

"Now the controversy surrounding 13-year-old Jahai McMath and her care may prompt some to make their wishes known sooner rather than later," said Eddy Regnier, PhD.

"We as a society can't think about the end day for us, so a lot of important decisions are not being made," he said. "The remarkable thing about this country is that we never pretend that death doesn't exist; we try to cheat death."

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. But there is no opting out of this one, we will all die. With ten thousand Boomers a day turning 65, this conversation may take place more frequently.

Donna Klamm, president of the Hemlock Society of Florida, Inc said, "Your best protection is to make your wishes known. Make an appointment with your physician so that it is on the record."

She added that if your doctor, opposes your choices, then you should be considering another physician.

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