Sunday, April 10, 2005

Living Wills

Be careful if your Living Will ends up being used to shuffle you off this mortal coil faster than you might have wanted.

When it comes right down to it, you might want to change your mind at the last minute.

But you might not be able to communicate that.

Consider the remarkable true-life story told in this book:
...we can all learn from the experiences of Dr. James Hall, a man who suffered a rare and devastating type of stroke that left him fully conscious but completely paralyzed -- except for the ability to blink one eye. Entombed within his own body, unable to speak, Dr. Hall went through a long, agonizing journey of discovery, and eventually decided that he wanted to live -- despite earlier instructions that he not be kept alive with medical assistance. He struggled for years to express his wishes, and then to share his experiences and insights with others.
Dr. James Hall was once committed to dying if incapacitated. "Pull the plug," he had said.

But, now that he is dying, he has changed his mind. He has experienced a pontine stroke, the most serious and devastating form of stroke known to medicine, and unable to speak or communicate in any way, unable to say, "I've changed my mind!"; he hears his death being planned. So rare are they that only a few have been recorded to medical records. He was—effectively—entombed within his body. He struggled and he fought and he demanded, to live. However, as we have seen in the Terri Schiavo case, the legal ramifications of one choice are numerous, exhaustive, and complex.
If you are considering signing a living will, and think you would like to have the "plug pulled" if incapacitated, Locked In To Life is required reading before you sign your name. If you are thinking of signing a living will, and don't want to have the "plug pulled" if incapacitated, Locked In To Life is required reading before you sign your name. Regardless of how you feel before reading Locked In To Life, and the ferocious conversations you may have afterward with friends and family, Locked In To Life will demand a deeper, thought provoking consideration. Professionals consider Locked In To Life to essential reading in their career considerations.


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