Live or Let Die: My Thoughts on Advance Care Planning

Live or Let Die: My Thoughts on Advance Care Planning
With my dark sense of humor, I was obsessed with death long before being diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis and Crohn’s disease. I don’t understand why death is so taboo when every breath takes seconds from our lives. Dying became more than an existential crisis only when I became ill in my 20s and had to make legal decisions about my life — and death, for that matter. Back then, I depended on patient forms to make advance care planning decisions. Advance care planning allows my healthcare team and loved ones to know how I want to be cared for if I’m incapacitated. I didn’t get a proper will until I almost died from sepsis in my 30s. My living will includes medical directives such as do not resuscitate orders, palliative care, and end-of-life decisions. My lawyer also drew up documents for my medical power of attorney. Naming a medical power of attorney While a regular power of attorney is authorized to handle financial decisions, a medical power of attorney can only make health-related decisions. A medical power of attorney can be a spouse, family member, or friend. Before I was married, my older sister was my medical power of attorney. She lived nearby, and I believed she would make rational decisions. I was afraid that if I gave medical power of attorney to my parents, especially my mother, their emotions might cloud their judgment. I had the same concern with my husband. Before I updated my will and named him my medical power of attorney, I had to be confident that he would be strong enough to follow through with my end-of-life decisions. Do not resuscitate orders A common medical directive is a do not resuscitate order, which states that the patient doesn’t want CPR if their heart or breathing stops. CPR could involve mouth-to-mo
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *