When you or a parent you’re caring for reaches a point in life where you know the end is fast approaching and you’re thinking about what you would like to have happen to you…
How are you going to ensure this critical information is communicated accurately?
You may have to enter a care facility that requires you to have an Advanced Directive or Durable Power of Attorney in place that forces you to consider a Living Will.
If you wait until you have a crisis, you’re way too late.
Leaving Things To Chance?
Now most people don’t think about these things because most don’t want to face the fact that they will die one day.
This may be because they don’t want to think about it at all or maybe they simply don’t understand the importance of having an Advanced Directive.
Whatever the reason, the fact still remains you don’t want to leave things to chance or to others.
Make the choice for yourself. And encourage your parents to think about it as well.
Why Is A Living Will Important?
Well let’s take a look at this scenario…
You’re at church one day and (God forbid) you collapse. You’re rushed to hospital and as you’re unconscious, the doctor asks, “Is this person for resuscitation? Do they have an Advanced Directive in place?”
Those around you look at each other and shrug!
Then someone says, “I know they don’t want to be resuscitated!”.
The doctors asks, “How do you know? Where is the proof? Is it in writing? Do they have it with them?”
And everyone around you looks at each other with blank stares. The fact is no one actually knows and the doctor will lose valuable time to act.
So, What Is An Advanced Directive?
An Advanced Directive is a “document by which a person makes provision for healthcare decisions in the event that, in the future, he/she becomes unable to make those decisions” (Patients’ Rights Council, Ohio).
Now, a Living Will is a legal document and is state and country specific. So be sure to check out these requirements first.
You can find more information at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0jNWMZUezU
There are many things you will need to think about.
Examples Of Decisions You May Have To Make
Do you want a physician to withhold or withdraw any medical interventions? If so, in what circumstances?
Do you want to be resuscitated? If so, under what circumstances?
Do you want to receive antibiotic treatment? Are there any exclusions?
Do you want to be an organ donor? Are there any limitations on organs to be donated?
Do you want to donate your body to science?
Another thing you need to consider is…
How Are Others Going To Know Your Wishes?
Will you carry a card on you with the relevant information and who your nominated proxy is if you cannot speak for yourself?
Will it be only in paper form with your solicitor?
Does your doctor have a copy?
Who in your family will know about your wishes?
Are there people you want excluded from having this information?
Write It Down
While it seems like there is a mountain of things that you need to know as you or your parents age…
If you want to have a say in a time of crisis then you need to write it down. Not later, but now.
Otherwise you’ll be leaving it to chance and trust that people will make the right decision for you.
Are you prepared to play this game of chance?
To learn more about Advanced Directives and how you can be prepared for a future crisis, check out this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaQ8Z9XFK8E