Friday, October 1, 2010

Suggestions, Not Demands - Rethinking Living Wills

I wanted to take a moment and bring to the attention of my readers an article that was published in the October, 2004 issue of Arizona Attorney, but still relevant today. The article, titled “Suggestions, Not Demands – Rethinking Living Wills,” was written by Kenney Hegland, who feels one of the inherent problems with living wills is the attempt to make decisions today that may not be implemented for a number of years. That is, deciding now what one will want then.

He states studies show that living wills have little impact on the medical treatment one actually receives at the end of their life, and that doctors usually do what family members want, despite what the patient may have indicated in their living will. However, he doesn’t see this as a problem as he feels living wills are too casual, vague, and speculative to be taken seriously, mainly due to the fact that many living wills are of the “check the box” type.

He brings up a number of excellent points; a worthwhile read.

Suggestions, Not Demands - Rethinking Living Wills


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