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View Diary: Why End of Life Counseling is Imperative (256 comments)

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  •  What many people don't realize (25+ / 0-)

    is the fact that you have signed a Living Will or other Advance Health Directive does not mean that it will or can override YOUR wishes.  You aren't "giving up" any rights which is what I read some idiot Congresscritter said the other day.

    Living Wills, Advance Directives and Health Care Powers of Attorney are effective WHEN YOU CAN NO LONGER DIRECT YOUR OWN CARE.  As long as you are compentent you can say "Yes put me on the respirator, yes put in the feeding tube" and they will do it no matter what you have signed, no matter what any person who is your health care power of attorney wants.  The doctors will ask  YOU to make these decisions yourself as long as you can do so.

    Further as long as you are competent you can always change your decisions on these documents or revoke them entirely.  Again I read some idiot from some pro-life group worrying about "what if someone signs one of these when they are weak or depressed" as if they are signing an irrevocable document.

    It's not.  It's beyond stupid, it's outright wall to wall lies.

    Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

    by trillian on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 07:18:14 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Fear mongering, not stupidity (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy, Into The Woods, LNK

      Republicans hope to exploit the anxieties we all have about the end of life, to their political advantage.  A very cynical machination.

      An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

      by Thomas Twinnings on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 08:46:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Link to Good Example of HC Directive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy, Jesterfox

      This is a good example of a health care directive.

      http://www.fairview.org/...

      It is not perfect, was probably built to comply with Minnesota law at the time it was created (legal requirements vary by State) so it is not offered as an off-the-shelf or DIY form.  

      But it gives you an idea of what is being discussed if you have not run into one before.

      Part I provides the option of appointmenting a health care agent.

      Part II provides health care instructions.  This is the part that is better than many forms (and is what I presume the "consultations" would focus on), as the specifics suggest various key issues to be explored, discussed and documented.

      For example:

      My goals for health care: _________________________________________
      My fears about my health care: ____________________________________

      My spiritual or religious beliefs or traditions: _________________________

      My beliefs about when life would no longer be worth living: _____________

      My thoughts about how my medical condition might affect my family: _____

      All spaces for response are much longer in the acutal form.

      It goes on to become more specific:

      This is what I want and do not want for my health care (I know I can change these choices or leave any of them blank) Many medical treatments may be used to try to improve my medical condition or to prolong my life. Examples include artificial breathing by a machine connected to a tube in the lungs, artificial feeding or fluids through tubes, attempts to start a stopped heart, surgeries, dialysis, antibiotics and blood transfusions. Most medical treatments can be tried for a while and then stopped if they do not help.

      If I had a reasonable chance of recovery and were temporarily unable to decide or speak for myself, I would want: __________________________

      If I were dying and unable to decide or speak for myself, I would want:
      ___________________________________________________

      If I were permanently unconscious and unable to decide or speak for myself, I would want: ________________________________________________

      If I were completely dependent on others for my care and unable to decide or speak for myself, I would want: __________________________________

      In all circumstances, my doctors will try to keep me comfortable and reduce my pain. This is how I feel about pain relief if it would affect my alertness or if it could shorten my life: ______________________________________

      It has more instructions and more questions.

      Hope this helps clarify the discussion for those unfamiliar with these.

      Hope it also encourages you to create one for yourself and discuss it with loved ones.  

      This is stated at the end of the document in reference to the source of the document:

      Information provided through a collaborative effort of Fairview Health Services and
      HealthEast.

    •  and additionally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy

      your advance directive can direct medical personally to put you on those machines and do whatever they can think of! If that's what you want, signing an advance directive protects that choice, too.

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