Re: Your 2002 spreadsheet post to "Elder Hope"

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From: Dallas
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When you set out choices, you should also try to convey under what circumstances you would want x intervention. This is one of the places that Advance Directives get tricky. So, for instance, you've had pneumonia six times within the last year: The next time you get it, do you want antibiotics? How about if you don't get pneumonia until six years later? Would you be far enough out of the woods at that point to feel like you would want it then? And, what if you also had sever diabetes for whcih you were on dialysis three times per week. Would you then want antibiotics?

This is why it's hard to say when/where we want particular interventions. Having said that, listing your preferences for wanted unwanted interventions and a basic guideline for when you would/would not want that intervention might be a good idea. More important, to my sensibilities (what few they may be), is to make sure I have someone to speak for me with whom I have been intimate enough with and have verbalized my preferences enough with that there is not a lot of doubt about what I would want.

I'm also a little worried about spelling out all the interventions piece by piece because I fear that it might leave my beloved wife open to legal action should she know I would/would not want something spelled out in the list, but for which the circumstances were unexpected (not that anyone's going to lose any sleep when that time comes )

The recent events in Florida leave me feeling that the only real protection we have to make sure our wishes are honored are: 1) A truly intimate relationship of love and respect with all our family and; 2) As much of an ironclad designation of my wife as decisionmaker as I can make (Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care); And, 3) threatening family members that if they contravene her, I'll come back from whereever I am and make life hell for them.

Having said that, interventions to consider are:

Ventilator
Dialysis
Antibiotics
Surgery
CPR
Chemical Code
Tube feeding
Hydration via IV
Hydration via mouth
Oral moistening
Pleasure feeding (chewing small morsels, then spitting them out - for the flavor and sensation of chewing)
Chemotherapy
Amount of pain control desired
Terminal sedation
Desired consciousness versus pain management

That's good for starters. I'll add more later as I remember others. Hope that this is helpful for those trying to wade their way through this minefield.


Posted on 2005/4/1 6:39


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<strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="color:#990000;">For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong.<br /><br />--H.L. Mencken</span></span></strong> <img src="http://www.elderhope.com/uploads/smil3db...


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