Do you have an Advance Directive: Living Will?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by LadyEagle, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    Or Durable Power of Attorney? It is something to think about. Who will make the decisions for you regarding your health care should you be unable to do so, i.e., comatose, etc.?

    More information:
    http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ethics/advance.html

    Sample Living Will (PDF file):
    http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ethics/living.pdf

    Sample Medical Durable Power of Attorney:
    http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ethics/durable.pdf

    I have a Living Will I typed up several years ago. I do not want life support. I do want Comfort Measures, Nutrition, and Fluids so I will not be in pain and because my body needs nutrition and fluids in order to sustain life. If my organs fail, I do not want any heroic or extraordinary measures to save my life; I will go home to be with the Lord if I cannot survive without mechanical means. This will alleviate thousands of dollars of medical bills and will not prolong my life unnecessarily by artificial means. I am donating my organs. I took my typed up Living Will to my Bank and had my signature witnessed and notarized. It is now a legal document to be included in my Medical Records.

    Above all, my relatives know my wishes and will not be burdened with a decision of whether or not to "pull the plug."

    I know of one recent case of a pastor who was trying to provide counsel for a mother whose 25-year-old son was on life support (after being severely burned and lying in a coma on a respirator) and was having to deal with this issue, what to do, guilt surrounding any decision, as well as grief.

    Just thought I'd pass the info along in case anyone is interested. Not trying to be morbid, just practical. [​IMG]
     
  2. donnA

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    My grandmother lived on a respirator for 5 months, they told us it would only be a week or so after her heart surgery, she died on it. And in the mean time we saw the real horrors of a respirator. My husband knows I'd rather die then to live on one. I want no machines forcing my body to do something unnatural, like living after God has called an end to my life.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    SheEagle:

    Very good information for all. Thank you.

    Yes, both wife and I have living wills, hand-written, notarized and in safe storage, with copies in the hands of both our daughters.

    We went a step further and the children have already decided what is theirs upon our demise. My remaining library goes to a Bible College, my personal files are to be destroyed (those files with information about church members down through the years). Files pertaining to the scriptures go with my books, including all my academic papers.

    No heroics is a part of our wishes, cremation and no funeral services. Organs may be used,,,,,,,but they are old, and well worn.

    Cheers, and again, thank you,

    Jim
     
  4. stubbornkelly

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    Yes . . . though I've updated it since I first wrote it. It's executed and notarized, and I've got a copy at home, with my attorney and my parents have one.

    Mine's actually pretty similar to yours, SheEagle.

    I've also got files marked for destruction (and description of same in my instructions).

    Further . . . cremation, memorial service (to be held at the discretion of family) in the manner of Friends.

    And I'm an organ donor.

    My parents thouht I was nuts when I did all this. I mean, what kid writes a living will when they're 18, right? But I can't know the future, and there are some things I feel very strongly about. I certainly don't want to be hooked up to machinery to live out my days vegetatively.

    My mother is my agent, and although she's not thrilled with some of my decisions (as my mother, she's not too keen on the idea of "letting me die") she's agreed to act as my agent and do as I wish. I love her so much!
     
  5. Gina B

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    I did, but nulled it because I didn't trust the person with power of attorney wouldn't take it too far and have me killed off over a paper cut or something. :eek:
    I may redo it when the kids are of legal age. In the meantime, if something happens I'm fighting all the way, there's always that chance of a miracle. [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Yep. But don't tell the kids . . .

    Actually have 2 copies of a living will and regular will - one in the desk drawer right here at home, one in the safety deposit box.

    Did a funeral yesterday for a gal whose birthday was just a coupla months after mine. Life is short.
     
  7. Wisdom Seeker

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    No...but I have told the two people who would be in the power to decide anything on my behalf: No heroic measures are to be made to keep me alive (D.N.R.), and that my organs are to be donated to help save anyone who is in need.
     
  8. LadyEagle

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    LOL! :D

    Thanks everyone, for your comments. It's a blessing to hear what others are doing to "get their ducks in a row" (favorite phrase of mine..LOL!)

    When my dad went to be with the Lord and I had to go through over 50 years of pastoral/ministerial things, I was a bit overwhelmed. The job somehow got left to me a year after he was buried. Only a pastor can appreciate the number of books one accumulates in over 50 years of ministry! :rolleyes:

    So, I called a fellow Baptist minister friend of his and donated boxes & boxes of reference material (you name it, Dad had it!) to all the Baptist pastors in the area. Some men came over and loaded them up and the next monthly prayer breakfast for the group was the distribution point. I donated Dad's clothes. One fellow in our church was about dad's size, so he got lots of suits. Another Baptist pastor got the Land's End down vest (a Christmas present from me which dad never wore). A younger pastor who loved my dad so much living in Tennessee got shipped many of my dad's sermon notes. My missionary/pastor brother got the real special things, like my dad's desk name plate (which now sits on my brother's study desk). My son wears his granddad's wedding ring. So much. My mother didn't know what to do, where to begin, how to go about...(Dad always did EVERYTHING!). They were married 52 years (imagine!). We all accumulate so much! And when our time on earth is over, there is not one material thing we take with us. My Dad...oh how I miss that man! [​IMG] ....is with the One he served so faithfully for most of his life. Hallelujah! Death is not the end, just the beginning! Thank you, Jesus! PTL!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Thankful

    Thankful
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    Does this mean that you would want a feeding tube? My doctor explained that people can live many years on a feeding tube.

    Thanks for the info.

    Jim1999, I prefer the no ceremony also. ( I haven't decided on cremation) My late husband was cremated and no funeral service. To me, it was so much easier, but our pastor's wife said that one should have a funeral so that the pastor can preach the plan of salvation to any family members who might not be saved. She has a point there.
     
  10. stubbornkelly

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    There's a point there, yes, but that's not why people go. Most services I've been to that preach salvation leave the non-Christian mourners I know with sour tastes in their mouths. They feel used, like they went to mourn and had the old bait and switch pulled on them.

    Not saying that it shouldn't be done, just a sentiment I've heard repeatedly.
     
  11. suzanne

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    After our recent experience my husband and I both redid our will and I am in the process of writing what I want at my memorial service...the music, what readings, what pictures and personal items. I don't want anyone speaking about me who didn't know me personally. And I will write what will be said in regards to salvation.

    When all is said and done, though, we don't have a lot of control over what's done with us or said about us when we die. But it's sort of a non issue anyway.
     
  12. Deacon

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    Living Wills should encourage family members to talk about tough situations before they happen.
    Living Wills can be overruled by family members who disagree with them in emergency situations because the physicians do not want to be caught between differing opinions and the very real posibility of lawsuits.

    I've worked in critical care units for decades. I once though that I would never want to be place on a resperator; that changed however when I had a acute case of asthma. Situations and feelings about these tough issues change as we experence them. What we feel may be obvious now; A strong conviction about life support frequently becomes less firm when reality hits.

    While I'm all for supporting living wills, please realize that in these situations sometime the best course of action is to insure that your family members are communining with God, searching His will regarding the matter before them (and you).
     
  13. Abiyah

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    Thank you for reminding me. I need to get on the
    stick and take care of this. At my age, it is no
    longer a laughing matter--it is needful.

    (Gina, YOU are SO funny!! What would we be like
    without you?)
     
  14. Circuitrider

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    Just a reminder that each state determines the legality of each of these documents, so you must find out what is legal and binding in your state. DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) procedures vary in each state. As an EMT I must see a necklace or bracelet or have written doctors orders in hand to enforce a DNR order. [​IMG]

    In Wisconsin the "Living Will" is not legally enforcable, and you must have a Health Care Power of Attorney. However, that form is easily obtainable from the state and can simply be filled out with personal witnesses. :cool:

    As a pastor who has had to deal with families in this situation it is always easier to plan ahead and make decisions before anything happens. [​IMG]
     
  15. LadyEagle

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    Yes. I do not want to be "starved" to death. So I want nutrition, fluids, and pain meds.

    The body cannot live for years on nutritional support if there is major organ failure, i.e., heart, kidneys, etc.

    However, if all major organs are functioning, then the body can be literally killed if deprived of fluid and nutrition.
     
  16. Thankful

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    A doctor explained to me that one does not starve to death without the feeding tube because the vital organs will shut down before one would starve to death.

    Most doctors will see to it that the patient is comfortable and not suffer, if possible.

    SueEagle911
    I was just curious since you said that you did not want life support. I am assuming you mean mechanical means.

    Many times, these things do have to be decided on a case by case basis.

    Thank you for answering my question.
     

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