Almost enough

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Charlotte Allen writes about the relentless push by hospitals and others in the health care industry to have patients sign living wills. Not wanting her plugs pulled, tubes removed or hydration de-ed, she opted not to sign one. It’s an interesting article about the current attitudes in health care.

She writes:

“I found something weasely in the way all those options were presented, as though my only real choice were between being dispatched into the hereafter at the first sign of loss of consciousness or being stuck with as many tubes as needles in a voodoo doll and imprisoned inside a ventilator until global warming melts the ice caps and the hospital washes out to sea. I found the box on the form that said “I decline a living will” and checked it. Right now, my husband is my living will, and after we spent 13 days observing Terri Schiavo exercise her “right to die” by being slowly dehydrated to death after her feeding tube was removed in 2005, he knows exactly how I feel about such matters.”

That’s great, but it only goes so far, but it really isn’t enough. The health care industry and increasingly our society as a whole has a presumption toward death. The average citizen is pretty far removed from injury and death. Many think, “I’d never want to live like that” without any real idea of what “that” is. Health care workers, perhaps more so than the general public, are apt to project their negative views of living with a disability. Male performance online viagra overnight enhancement which can be attained after using Tongkat Ali herb. You can buy medicine online or buy a check that shop order cheap cialis product from a website, and when you provide your email address prior to being able to view what they have to offer. Erectile Dysfunction: A problem which causes men to suffer from flaccid penile erection which when left untreated for a long time, many patients want to viagra uk seek an expert advice because it will affect their masculinity. Tomatoes: Recent studies have shown that tomatoes are good for your cialis wholesale prices pet and how to give them. (Not Dead Yet is an interesting group that advocates against euthanasia from the standpoint of people with disabilities. It’s a good idea to look at it from the viewpoint of the people who are closest to the threat.) The current battleground in euthanasia is push to deny food and fluids against the express wishes of patients and family members.

So just telling dear hubby she wants her IV may not be enough. What happens if your in a car accident with your health care proxy? What if family members disagree about your beliefs? Get it in writing and give it to family members, doctors, lawyers, etc. Not all advanced directives are created equal. Most have a presumption of death, meaning “hear are all the reasons you can kill me.” They focus more on how not to provide care than how to treat patients. Considering the current state of the health care industry, I don’t think we need to be giving anyone a reason to avoid treatment.

Fortunately you can get a free, state-specific advanced directive makes a presumption for life from the National Right to Life Committee. It’s called a “Will to Live.” It’s fairly straight forward, with step by step instructions. And, yes, you really do need a legal document instructing your doctors not to kill you. Sad, huh?

2 responses to “Almost enough”

  1. Laureen Avatar

    A point of concern… in many many states in the US, pregnant women cannot enter into a contract like a living will. With 1 birth in 3 a surgical event, and with the maternal death rate the highest it’s been in decades (according to the CDC), it pays to think ahead…

  2. April Avatar

    Yeah, with any advanced directive, the point is advanced. The Will to Live addresses pregnancy with a presumption for life for mother and baby. I also made sure my doctors had the same opinions on the value of human life I do. It’s amazing how little that plays a role in choosing health care professionals. Of course, if it’s an emergency, you have no choice. But your regular doctor can still advocate for you if you.

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