Ann F. Random Thoughts
As I spend quite a bit of time reading journals, and people from all over the world send interesting tidbits, here are some terrific bits to share.
Interestingly there was a discussion on Facebook about an article in the New York TImes Wellness blog by Tara Parker-Pope. Letting Doctors Make the Tough Decision
by Pauline W. Chen
What troubled me about the article (and discussion), it seemed to mix patients and family members talking about the desire people have for doctors to make decisions for them - the hard decisions when the answer is not obvious. Just now I actually looked at the study and found, unsurprisingly that the folks who wanted the doc to decide were a) older b) less educated c) more religious and d) male (more often).
From the study: Conclusions
Almost all patients want doctors to offer them choices and to consider their opinions, but most prefer to leave medical decisions to their doctor.
I think about the need to prepare for the time when hard decisions have to be made. One thing we ALL have to deal with is that eventually we will die. All of us. But being prepared is a better way to face it. For example, many of the people reading this have chosen to incorporate natural therapies into their cancer treatments. But are your family members on the same page? Quite often we have become self-taught and well-educated on the issues, but they have not followed us.
If we get really ill, we might not be making the decisions - so if you are prepared by writing down your wishes - you are more likely to get your way. No guarantees but a better chance.
Health Care Proxy
- legal document that allows a patient to appoint the agent of their choice to make healthcare decisions.
Advanced Healthcare Directive
- also known as a Living Will, is about the specific instructions on actions to be taken in a variety (you specify) of health situations. It can also prevent family arguments as they gather to figure out what you might want done or not. Below is a nonprofit site that helps simplify it all.
I also want to encourage people to access hospice care when they become very ill. One does NOT have to sign a contract to die. You do get much more focused and usually better care.
How boring, we have to mention fundraising again
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