Planning for your own end-of-life care can be an extremely difficult thing, but it is also a necessary act of bravery. Making the choices behind your living will and advanced medical directives is just this sort of an ugly imperative.
How do other people make their end-of-life decisions? Everyone varies medically, intellectually and culturally. In addition, there are some important religious questions that may come into play. In can be very helpful to learn from the practices of others, too.
A very important perspective to consider may well be doctors themselves. According to a recent post in the New Old Age Blog of The New York Times, there is a bit of a consensus among those who wear the white lab coats.
The original post is titled “Do Not Resuscitate: What Young Doctors Would Choose” and, indeed, a Stanford study found that 88.3% of young doctors are inclined to advanced medical directives and specifically to elect a do-not-resuscitate or “no code” status if they were in a terminally ill status.
There is a great deal of thought and doctorly experience that goes into these attitudes, as the post and underlying study go on to parse out. How about you? Do you agree? Do you specifically disagree?
That’s actually the point: when it comes to your directives, your vantage point is the one that must be expressed or else doctors will be forced to act in ways you might not have otherwise chosen. Plan for yourself and for your loved ones by putting these plans down and in writing. Advanced medical directives are just one element of the plan, but they are an important piece to build into your overall life plan.
Reference: The New York Times (May 20, 2014) “Do Not Resuscitate: What Young Doctors Would Choose”