The Palliative Care Education & Research Program of the Cancer Center at Michigan State University and MSU's Communication Technology Lab are collaborating on this multimedia computer project to provide ready access to resources on a wide range of end-of-life issues.

Directed primarily at individuals who are facing terminal illness, the interactive program is divided into three main categories Taking Charge, Finding Comfort, and Reaching Closure. But the path that any particular user chooses to take in exploring the software's rich offerings can be as unique and individual as that person desires.

From pain relief to spiritual support, from planning for the family's future to telling them goodbye, from reassessing the past to living in the present moment, the topics covered in the software are presented in a meaningful and empowering way. Additional topics include:

Getting what you need from your health care team
Hospice and care at home
Spiritual issues
Emotional needs
Family concerns
Maintaining dignity
Funeral planning
Advance Medical Planning
Money Matters

Users of the program will also find a section devoted to the personal stories of people who have previously confronted terminal illness. These video narratives will be drawn from real-life experience, and told by the people who lived them, in their own words. In the variety of stories, and in their emotional resonance, software users will discover meaningful connections with their own experience.

Development of Completing a Life is expected to extend through 2000, with support from Henry Ford Health System, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Cancer Center at MSU, and the MSU Office of Libraries, Computing and Technology.

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