We provide training day in and day out on how to resuscitate people of any age. We train lay people and healthcare providers in the multiple disciplines offered by the American Heart Association. Unfortunately these measures often can prove unsuccessful or provide results with a different quality of life. There is not always a reason as unknown medical complications arise, traumatic injuries can occur, and accidents happen. We are never fully prepared for these events and often our loved ones are the ones put in the position of having to make the difficult decisions.
Does your family know what you want if certain things happen? Why place the burden on them. Have your own advance directives or living will drawn up so you can make the decisions you want about your life. When you create your own advance directives make sure you are thorough. This will help your family, doctors, and caregivers make decisions based upon your wishes. The decisions can be difficult but do you want aggressive resuscitation? Would you want to be on life support? Would you prefer to be a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)? This list can go on and can be completely tailored to your wishes. Other items such as faith background, invitations to clergy can all be covered within these documents.
This document can outline what will happen in situation nobody wants to talk about. Given a terminal condition where do you want to die? Who do you want to be there? Who do you want to make decisions about you future once you can’t. What if you have no family around or accessible to make these decisions?
Remember you can always modify this document as your life or health change. Don’t wait do this for yourself and your family. When the time arises it will make a difficult time easier without the burden of difficult decisions.
Below are some resources and additional information about advance directives and living wills.
- Information on Wisconsin Do Not Resuscitate: