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

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  •  You should have a living will/health care proxy (6+ / 0-)

    This is not just a question of 'end of life'.

    Every time you are out of it, sedated, in intensive care, basically unable to make your own health care decisions, you need a health care proxy and/or a living will.

    A health care proxy is a legal document that allows you to designate the person whom you authorize to make your health care decisions.  If you have no such person, even your children may not be allowed to see your medical data as per the Health Information Privacy Act of 1999 (HIPAA), let alone make choices for you.  

    These choices are not just about whether you want life support.  For example, following my husband's aneurysm surgery, he needed two immediate additional surgeries, which I had to sign for.  If you don't have a spouse there to sign, you need somebody designated to do it.  Sometimes, there is no time to wait and no time to spare, and somebody needs to be able to sign for you.

    Furthermore, if you want the health care proxy person to make all decisions, but not life support decisions, you can do that, too.

    Say this 10 times:

    Anyone can get hit by a car
    Anyone can get hit by a car, etc.

    I don't care whether you're in your 20's.  You, too, need a living will and a healthcare proxy person.

    The time to do it is now, while you're healthy.

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