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Medical Advance Directives

2010-03-22 18:33:58.691352+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Please: If you do not have a written and witnessed medical advance directive (aka "living will"), sit down with your loved ones and write one by the end of this week. Include scenarios like reduced brain function if you survive, loss of various physical abilities, breathing tubes or other intubations, whether you'd like to be kept alive but barely conscious while people fly in to visit you in your last days or hours. All those things.

Make the hard decisions now, because you could end up in a scenario where your loved ones are unable to be sure enough of your blinks and hand clenches to be able to communicate those wishes to doctors and nurses.

If you're lucky, this is hypothetical for you right now. Hopefully it'll stay hypothetical. Do it anyway.

Those close to you may not be able to do anything to ensure that those wishes come to pass, but they'll thank you for giving them that guidance.

[ related topics: Health Law ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-03-24 03:14:22.76365+00 by: Dan Lyke

In that advance directive, also specify any burial instructions. Otherwise people will be remembering conversations and be unsure. Put it in writing.

This is not theoretical.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-03-22 22:50:57.821018+00 by: Dan Lyke

Shawn, moved your comment over here.

Basically, it's a way for you to put in writing your wishes should you be in a state where you're medically unable to communicate. I need to dig around for the right resource, but having been through this now I'm pretty sure you want a guide that walks you through scenarios like "likely mentally healthy, but physically deteriorating and unable to communicate" in all their gory gruesome detail.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-03-22 22:18:05.044337+00 by: Shawn

Medical advance directive, for those unfamiliar with the term. (I had to look it up.)

#Comment Re: made: 2010-03-22 20:28:29.189065+00 by: Dan Lyke

And just to make this a little more real: Charlene's off to SF right now to communicate via hand squeezes and play MP3s made by friends, and generally mourn the last few painful days.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-03-22 19:54:44.222325+00 by: jeff

Well said, Dan.