living will form /advanced directives

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The necessity of a living will.

Emergency stories related to not having a living will form.

 

Many people do not have a living will/ advanced directive form. Many people who come in the hospital have no clue what it entails.

Often it takes time for people to get used to the idea and terminology. I hope this three articles will help you.

 

Many times and this is an often occurring scenario in different versions:

Older gentleman comes in who has been in a care facility for several months or years. The old gentleman often has Alzheimers or had a stroke in the  past and is not able to communicate.

When we as medical persons ask if there is a living will or advanced directive, the woman will tell us that she has power of attorney and that she wants her husband to live as long as possible. Often I wonder what the husband really wanted… but as he is not able to make his wishes clear for us now... there is no way of knowing…..

 

Mother has a 33 year old daughter who was resuscitated “successfully” 3 years ago. For  the medical staff the daughter is living as a vegetable in a nursing care facility. She does not respond, can not talk, has contractures of her feet and hand due to not enough mobilization of the joints. Mother really thinks that she can hear her and talks to the daughter as if she can and is convinced she responds. Medical staff cannot see this. 33-year-old daughter comes in regularly for lung or urinary tract infection due to the necessary use of catheters. 

 

The list of patients who comes in on a regular basis because they took to much heroine or methadone is to long… some of them have hepatitis C or HIV…. Many of those patient have no living will and not do not want to fill out any kind of written pre-thought statement…..This is reality.

 

The above is not “good” or “bad”. The moral of the lesson here is what do YOU want and what can YOU do to help faith find its proper way….

 

A simple form called a living will or advanced directive can save you and your loved ones a lot of head aches to say the least.

 

It might not be an easy subject but reality is around the corner. Sorry to say. It can happen to all of us.

 

Warmly Pieternel  

 

Click here for a list of terminology descriptions used in a living will/ advanced directives.

Click here for an in depth article on Living will and advanced directive forms.  

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