Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sharethis: Family Says Doctors Tried to 'Euthanize' Stroke Victim - Heart Disease -

Horrifying story, even for this doubly Hades Moon. Where was the Living Will or Advance Directive?

I can't picture a more important topic to cover with a local attorney who fully understands the laws of the state, province, prefecture, county, country, land, or planet on which you reside than Living Wills and Advance Directives. Everyone of majority age needs one or the other, and deserves to be informed about each one. Review the document and reasons for the choices periodically the way you'd review a Last Will and Testament.

Here where I live, Living Wills are NOT the same as Advance Directives. Here, Living Wills put end-of-life decisions such as the timing of "the end of life" in the hands of medical professionals. Here, Advance Directives put decisions about heroic measures and such things as continuation of food and hydration in the hands of whoever the patient designates. Here, a Living Will won't give a dying patient even the most basic things all living beings need: food and water. Or things to allow for the most basic comfort for humane death.

Here, Living Wills give discretion into the hands of medical professionals. Advance Directives can be written to provide for virtually anything one would wish when one is unable to decide for oneself.

It's an extremely personal decision.

I have an Advance Directive. I will never have a Living Will. The way I see it, Living Wills allow doctors to end your life. To me Advance Directives allow whomever you designate to require that you have whatever will allow for the continuance of your life, or to require that you be given simple, non-heroic measures such as food, hydration, and palliative care without heroic measures. That's just my own extremely personal decision.

Read the article, then make plans for one or the other if you don't already have one or the other. Tell your family and friends about your decisions and give copies to those people who'll be legally allowed to speak for you, should the time come.

Advance Directive vs Living Will??
Family Says Doctors Tried to 'Euthanize' Stroke Victim - Heart Disease -

Parin Stormlaughter sent this using ShareThis.

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