Making Your Wishes Known
As we age, we have to face harder and harder decisions about our inevitable fate. And although it is not a pleasant subject and for the most part avoided until presented right in our faces, the sooner we prepare ourselves the more comfortable our release from this life will be.
One major concern a lot of children have for their elderly parents is to provide for their parents’ wishes. If they were suddenly in a situation which neither the parent nor the family has the ability to bring such unhappy circumstances to an end would they choose to be placed on Life-Support, which in most cases mean they will never recover. And if on Life-Support how long would they wish to stay? Would they rather not be placed on life support at all? Each individual has the right to make this decision known ahead of time and should.
If you were placed on life support your family may be required to make the decision of whether or not to terminate the support. It can be another added burden during a very stressful time. They are grieving over their loss of a loved one and pushed to make a hasty decision at the same time. For them it is like choosing between life and death, even though they are assured that the parent cannot recover. It is especially hard if the parent has not expressed his/her point of view about such a situation in the past.
Below are a few ways to disclose your wishes:
· The right to refuse medical treatment – The law requires that patients must receive written information explaining their right to refuse medical treatment. With these “Advance Directives”, patients can convey their wishes about life support if they become terminally ill or incompetent.
· Durable Power of Attorney – This gives another person the right to make healthcare decisions for you when you are unable to do so.
· Medical Durable Power of Attorney - This can be used even if a person is not terminally ill, but is unable to make his or her own decisions for some other reason. It can be used to avoid unwanted care and to make sure that desired life-sustaining treatment is provided.
· Living Wills - A living will is a legal document where you put into writing what your preferences are about terminal illness and the use of life-sustaining technology.
Having your wishes expressed early on will prevent any wrong doings on either party and will make the transition easier for both the parent and the child.