Family Member's Bill of Rights

As a relative to a dying person, I have the right to:

  • Enjoy my own good health without feeling guilty. It is not my fault that someone I love is dying.
  • Choose whom I will talk to about my relative’s disease. If someone’s feelings are hurt because I do not wish to answer their questions, it is not my fault.
  • Know what is going on in our family, even if I am a child.
  • Be told the truth about my relative’s disease, condition and prognosis in words I can understand.
  • Disagree or get angry with someone, even if they are dying. Sickness does not stop someone from being human.
  • Feel what I am feeling, not what someone else says I "should" be feeling.
  • Look after my own needs, even if they do not seem as great as the needs of my dying relative. I can take a "time out" without feeling disloyal.
  • Get outside help for my dying relative and family members if we cannot cope by ourselves.
  • Get help for myself, even if others in my family choose not to get help.
  • Maintain hope, in whatever form that might be. No one has the right to take my hope away from me.
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