View Full Version : Do you have an Advanced Directive? Spin off sort of.
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:17 PM
Not a will, but a document saying that in the event of you being unable to speak for yourself you want no life support or heroic measures.
I need to get one made up. I am single, have no children, and no family. So IT is one thing that I fear the worst being in a position of grave injury and or illness and being kept alive.. barely. Sounds gruesome and morbid, but they say the time to do things is when you are fine.
Just wondered what others have done.
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:49 PM
Yup, I have one. I'e had multiple surgeries & I was encouraged to have one on file at Kaiser. I downloaded the forms online for free. You have to have 2 witnessed signatures but it's really easy.
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:56 PM
Don't have one. Want one. Like you, I'm single with no kids so this is in the "Should have been done yesterday" position on the To Do list.
I also have strong, well-developed and stable opinions about my own quality of life, self-euthanasia and such. No reason not to get an Advanced Directive... except for one: Naming the person who will have Durable Power of Attorney for me.
In these documents and in practice as I understand it, you need a real live advocate standing there making sure that your wishes are being carried out and judging the situation to make sure it lines up with what you had thought of. For example, does the particular suffering or prognosis meet the criteria laid out in the Advanced Directive or the consistent, known opinions of the person? Gotta match up messy reality with what the Directive said.
So my problem is to find the person with the balls play the Power of Attorney role.
Otherwise, my mom has an Advanced Directive which I have read. She created that with an attorney. She also has said the same things for the past 30 years-- doesn't want to suffer physically but she also considers severe dementia a "pull the plug" scenario.
IMO, it works best if you do as you say-- figure this out now and put it in writing, but also let trusted people around you know your wishes.
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:15 PM
I do...but it needs serious updating!! It names my father, my mother and my ex-husband, in that order. My father is dead and my ex husband is, well, ex. Not that I don't trust his judgement, but I'm sure he doesn't want the task of deciding my ultimate fate ;).
Thanks for bringing this up and reminding me of this loose end, I'd totally forgotten about it. Fortunately, after our experience when my father was dying, I know exactly who to choose. My mother and I were his proxies, but my brothers gave a lot of input and took two, totally opposite approaches, that made sure everything was accounted for...we ultimately all agreed on what to do. I'd do very well to have my brothers as proxies, they'd fight like nobody's business and then make the best possible decision ;).
I won't use my husband as a proxy...he doesn't want me to! He's Catholic, I am not, and he as already stated that he would not be making any "plug pulling" decisions on my behalf. I NEED to fix this, as having my mother (because of the proxy) and my husband (because we're married) making the decisions would be a disaster...for them most of all.
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:29 PM
Yep, one good friend is an attorney and he is the handy designated person to carry my very clear and explicit wishes about those decisions, if he has to make them for me.
With a bad heart, the chances are more of keeling over for good some day than being disabled or living long enough to lose my mind, but you never know, better be safe than sorry.
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:30 PM
Everyone should have one!!!! Do not wait until you are unable to speak for yourself, and your friends and family are unable to speak for you legally or with any confidence in what you would have wanted.
You can get a "5 Wishes" form off the Internet, which helps you define and/or have a conversation with others about what you would like your death to be like.
You can have a friend or family member fill out a Health Care Proxy form (each state has their own, I believe; probably available on the Internet) that appoints someone to speak for you if you can't speak for yourself.
You can change or revoke these at any time. Give one copy to your primary care doctor, one copy to whoever will make your decisions if you can't speak for yourself, and if you are in the hospital for any reason, ask them to give you the form so you can complete it, they can scan it in to their system, and you don't have to worry about it.
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:42 PM
Thats for the info. The problem is, WEll I have NO family, and well Not very many friends, My ex is probably the most trust worthy person to do that, but yet I have never put it in writing. Lot's to think about.
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:50 PM
I did one at same time I made a will and etc. I do have a child, and in the event that the hubby and I die at the same time i've asked my brother and SIL to raise her. And set up funds to help out. I have totally forgotten to do an will update for my animals though....need to do that. In Va a will expires in 7 years, so you have to update them....or something to that effect.
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:50 PM
Above is a link to the info booklet on the U of M website. Each state has its own laws. If you show regularily in any other states, I'd recomend you have the correct form for those states too.
Your healthcare proxy/agent must be over 18 yo and does not have to be a family member. I recomend your choose primary and secondary designees; just in case your agent is unavailable whe you are in need. You will still make all your own decisions unless you are unable to make them yourself; only then will your agent take over.
Also: in your cell phone list your agent as ICE, (In Case Of Emergency) with their contact number... Paramedics and Emergency Room staff don't know who Bill or Suzie is to you but we are trained to call the contact number listed as ICE.
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:59 PM
I should probably do it formally, but I have made it very, very clear to my family that I want to be kept alive even if all that's left is an ear. Seriously, we went through a lot of medical issues with my dad and I'm convinced that EVERYONE needs to make their wishes clear, no matter what their wishes are. Because nurses and doctors will start edging toward the plug very quickly, and a family does need to be pretty tough to withstand that pressure if the patient is comatose or otherwise unable to speak.
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:53 AM
I don't but I need to. Having a chronic illness with multiple surgeries I really SHOULD complete one. (I did start one once.) Especially when people in my family disagree with my requests. Hubby is with me on whatever I decide. But, my mother has said she disagrees. She'd just pull the plug. Thank goodness it isn't up to her, but I can see people trying to tell hubby what he "needs" to do.
I really think everyone should have one, just in case.