“I used to be scared of death until I found out it's now called 'end of life.'
Phew, that was close!”
― Stewart Stafford is the author of The Vorbing
End of Life decisions are important and should be made in advance. It should always be your choice to have an advanced directive and know that you should never be forced to have one but it is a good idea.
Talk to your health care team and family stakeholders.
POLST - Physicians Orders For Life Sustaining Treatment are medical orders that are used when you become seriously ill or frail and toward the end of life. A POLST form gives medical orders to emergency personnel based on your current medical situation. Make note: this form does NOT appoint an agent working on your behalf. Additionally, this form may ask that decisions are made BEFORE the need arises. The choices, for example, are “Attempt Resuscitation/CPR” or “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation/DNR” but the limitation is this: this decision may depend upon the situation at the time but there no other option or box to check.
AHCD - Advance Healthcare Directive, also known as living will, personal directive, advance directive, advanced medical directive or advance decision provides for an agent to act on your behalf. This is a legal document whereby the person decides in advance what measures should be applied in the case of illness or incapacity. These choices may include preferences for life support measures, feeding tubes, or hydration all of which depend on your age and condition.
PSDA – Patient Self-Determination Act became effective in December 1991, is also an advance directive. This form of a "living will" was to be used while an individual was still alive, but no longer able to make decisions. It required healthcare providers (primarily hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies) to give patients information about their rights to make advance directives under state law.
POA - Power of Attorney in which the person (you) authorizes someone (an agent) to make decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated. It might also be referred to as HCP – Healthcare Proxy but they serve the same function.
Five Wishes - lets your family and doctors know:
Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them?
The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want.
How comfortable you want to be?
How you want people to treat you?
What you want your loved ones to know?
- “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today,” advised James Dean, an American actor most remembered for his role in Rebel Without a Cause which was released in 1955, the year he died at the age of twenty-four.
- “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake,” recommended Frances Bacon, living from 1561 to 1626. Although he was a lawyer, his work was philosophically focusing on improving mankind, women-kind, all-kind!