Every once in awhile, the subject of a Living Will comes up and I will think I should get one made. Of course, I never do it. Well, I finally did it. I have it written but I do need to take the final step of getting it notarized.
It is not something that you have to have an attorney write, but different states do have different requirements so you should make sure that yours meets your state’s requirements. I found a form on my state’s bar association that I based mine on. You can then add things that you want to make sure happen with your care.
One thing that I put in mine was to make sure that I received insulin – regardless of what happens, if our insulin is cut off, we don’t have a chance. A friend of mine laughed and asked why I would need that – doctors should know that you need insulin. She is not a diabetic and has never been in a hospital that withheld insulin! Back in 2011, I wrote about doctors withholding insulin and a father commented on that post that his daughter developed an infection and had a stroke. The hospital took everything away except oxygen and did not give her insulin. He felt that they killed her and I feel that way also.
I had an aunt that was on life support and no one thought she would make it, including the doctors. After it was turned off, she woke up and eventually went home. She lived another 5 years before dying from a MRSA infection she got while hospitalized for pneumonia. I don’t want to be kept alive on machines, but I also don‘t believe that turning off those machines is a guarantee that you will kick the bucket. Without insulin, there is no chance for us to survive.
A Living Will would also help your family get the care that you desire if you have a stroke or end up with something like Alzheimer’s. A couple months ago, I was talking to a woman who had just moved into my neighborhood. Her husband had Alzheimer’s and got sick. When he went to the hospital, the hospital locked him up in the psych ward. Neither her nor their kids had any right to say anything about his treatment because he had nothing in writing. She was not able to move him to a nursing home – a much friendlier environment for him. She had to go to court to get those rights and even when she won her case, she had a couple weeks before they went into effect. Sadly, I have a feeling with hospitals struggling for money, we will be seeing a lot more of stuff like that. Unfortunately, he is not the first case I have heard about with hospitals locking someone up like that.
If you haven’t done a Living Will yet, I would encourage you to do one. I believe that most of us have pretty strong feelings about medical care because of stuff we go thru every day and you want to make sure your feelings are honored. Even if your family knows what you want, there is no guarantee a hospital will honor your families wishes if you don’t have something in writing.