Issues that surround terminal illness, incapacitation and death are not easy to talk about. But it would be a lot easier for the immediate family if their loved one had drawn up a living will before being confronted with a traumatic accident or a serious illness.
Without it, a person's preferences with regard to the extent of life support measures (i.e. artificial ventilation, tube feeding, medications and other high-tech machines) would not be heard and carried out. Living wills, therefore, are essential tools that are applicable for all eligible individuals.
In determining your health care wishes, you should always take your values into account. These considerations should include your thoughts about the importance of self-sufficiency and independence, and where to draw the line when the quality of life is compromised. Also, you need to decide if your advanced directives would prohibit life-sustaining and/or life-saving measures.
Before drafting your own living will, be acquainted with the different treatments that are within its scope. In this way, you will be able to specify which of these measures you wish to receive or refuse in the event of incapacitation. Also, it would be a good idea to speak with your physician about this matter and be advised on other pertinent issues and terminologies.
The Different Treatments
This procedure aims to restart a heart that has stopped beating. Decide on when and if you wish to be resuscitated via CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or by a medical device that dispenses an electrical shock to revive the heart. The stage of a disease or the extent of injury matters in this situation.
Therefore, try to be as specific as possible. You may fill out medical forms called DNR (do-not-resuscitate) orders to signify your desire to refuse such life-saving measure. These forms are usually attached to the medical record to forewarn the health care team.