“…let us not [only] love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
1 John 3:18
In the January Shadow, I began the discussion about a document called Five Wishes (FiveWishes.org). This document is a Living Will and Health Care Proxy or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions that talks about your personal, emotional, and spiritual needs as well as your medical wishes. If you are interested, you can purchase the document at the site listed above.
If you recall Wish 1 was: Identifying the person, you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them for yourself.
Wish 2 is: Identifying the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want.
We believe that life is precious, and we deserve to be treated with dignity. When the time comes that you are unable to speak for yourself regarding the kind of care you want or don’t want, it is important that your Health Care Proxy has the information related to your desire to be kept comfortable, offered food and fluids by mouth if it is safe for you to eat and drink, and if there is care you specifically want or want omitted without the intention of taking your life.
This specifically includes “Life- Support Treatment”. This means any medical procedure, device, or medication to keep you alive. This includes medical devices placed to help you breathe, food and water supplied by a medical device (feeding tube), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), major surgery, blood transfusions, dialysis, antibiotics or anything else meant to keep you alive. Please check with your Health Care Provider to see if you need to have a Do Not Resuscitate form completed if that is your wish.
These decisions may be affected if it is felt you are close to death, in a coma and not expected to recover or wake up, if you have permanent and severe brain damage and are not expected to recover, or if another condition exists when you do not wish to be kept alive.
It is that time in the church year when we remember the last days of Christ, His death and resurrection. As Christians we know that Our Redeemer Lives. He is Risen Alleluia!
Carolyn D. Pauling PhD RN