Monday, March 21, 2005

get yourself a living will

if there's one thing that the case of terri schiavo has taught me, it's the importance of getting a living will. i might complete one soon after ordination in light of all the goings-on back east. a living will is something i learned about in my medical ethics course here in seminary a few years back: the prof handed all of us copies of california's durable power of attorney for health care and said, "i strongly urge you to complete one of these in the near future." well, that was a couple of years ago and i still have that form uncompleted.

according to the form itself, it "gives the person you designate as your agent (the attorney in fact) the power to make health care decisions for you. Your agent must act consistently with your desires as stated in this document or otherwise made known." i'd rather make my exact desires known in writing, thank you.

california's durable power of attorney for health care looks like this. if you're not in california, you may find information about your state's living will here. in the california form, as you can see, there's a section entitled "Statement of Desires, Special Provisions, or Limitations." in this section you may state whether or not you want efforts made to prolong your life and whether or not you want life-sustaining treatment to be provided or continued.

the form even gives you an opportunity to state whether you would like any of your organs to be donated to science or to be made available for transplant.

completing this form is not really so much for myself, as it is for my loved ones. i wouldn't want them to go through what terri schiavo's family must be experiencing right now, with the congress, the prez, and the courts duking it out.

Powered by Blogger