Friday, September 30, 2011

Advanced Directives

I'm going to get up on a soap box right now and tell everyone that they need an advanced directive. Really, get one today. Make your wishes known to your family. I would recommend choosing someone who would be able to carry out your wishes under the emotional stress that may be present in a difficult circumstance.

I'm posting this for several reasons. I am comfortable with my beliefs regarding life after death. We were all made to die. To me, it's a natural part of life, just as it is to be born. Working in healthcare, I've become more concerned with issues such as quality of life. I've seen skeletons of little old ladies unable to speak or eat and lay contracted in their beds, incontinent. Maybe this is what they wanted. But is this what you want for yourself? If you don't, make your wishes known.

Recently at work, we had an experience where a resident had a massive stroke and was found on the floor of their apartment. The paperwork is which the resident stated that they were a DNR (do not resuscitate) was no where to be found. In that case, the resident was rushed to the hospital and placed on a ventilator. The decision then fell on the son, to take the resident off life support? What a difficult decision.

Keep in mind, advanced directives are not only for when you are 95 years old. Heaven forbid that you were in a devastating car crash tomorrow...would that change your wishes? There are many options regarding CPR, ventilators, dialysis, feeding tubes, organ donation, etc. So please, file an advanced directive with your physician and review it with your family.


  1. I AGREE, I AGREE, I AGREE!!! I wish more of my patients would have had advanced directives in place when they were younger to avoid a lot of pain and suffering...which their family often prolongs.

  2. Do you want a link to the CA state approved form? You can fill yours out and sign with 2 witnesses or with a notary. Also, please think about organ donation! Another tough, tough decision for everyone made easier if you are clear in an Advance Directive.