A NY Times article, When Advance Directives are Ignored, paints a frustrating picture of how and when the best laid plans can come to naught. I am an absolute, card-carrying advocate of Advance Healthcare Directives, also known as a Living Will. I am more concerned about people dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s while preparing their last healthcare wishes, than I am about what people want done – or not done – towards the end of their lives.
You see I couldn’t care less whether you wish to extend your life at all costs – allowing all heroic methods to be employed while on your death bed to take advantage of every second of life available to you – or you simply wish to be made comfortable with the usage of palliative measures while you transition from this life to the next. What does matter to me, however, is that you secure those wishes in a binding legal document while you’re still able to do so. (I am not a lawyer; I am a daughter whose mother and father gifted their three children by laying out their final wishes on paper years in advance of the end of their lives.)
I’ve written four articles addressing this topic in the past few years. I hope you will peruse them, especially if you’ve not yet taken steps to prepare for your exit from this life in the manner in which you choose.
- Cost of Dying: planning for a good death
- Alzheimer’s and other dementia: Advance Directives
- A difficult but necessary conversation
- The Gift that keeps on giving