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The Toughest Decision You Will Never Make

Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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2 Comments
decision

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Over the course of a lifetime, many of us will have to make tough decisions that will have a significant impact on our lives. As time progresses it seems like these decisions get more and more difficult and have more serious consequences.

Early on, decisions such as which college to attend are monumental life choices and are especially so for young people whose brains are still not yet fully formed. 

Another extremely difficult choice many face is whether to put down a pet that is ailing and suffering. It is very hard to end the life of a loved family member, but it is heartbreaking to see them suffer as well.

The most stressful of decisions are those directly concerning a loved one’s life. Is it time to put your parents in an assisted living facility and remove them from their life-long residence? There are no absolute guidelines and the effects will be extreme stress on the aging parents combined with the question of whether you’ve done the right thing.

Finally, the hardest of all decisions is one you won’t make. If you’ve become incapacitated and recovery is unlikely who will make the choice to end your life? Is it fair to leave someone on life support when their brain is technically dead? Can you imagine putting this responsibility on anyone?

This is where an advanced directive comes in. It is defined as:

A legal document that states a person’s wishes about receiving medical care if that person is no longer able to make medical decisions because of a serious illness or injury.

Although it is an extremely unpleasant topic to discuss, it is imperative to have your wishes known ahead of time rather than putting this responsibility on someone else. Family members should be involved so they are all aware of the final decree. 

Seniors need to plan for the time when they are no longer alive by completing a will, a power of attorney, and finally, an advanced directive so their passing is less difficult for their family and friends. And everything can be securely stored on a free mobile app and shared with caregivers, medical professionals, or your healthcare advocates when needed.

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Smike
Smike
10 months ago

Well, you kind of took the long road to get to your destination but your topic is well worth the trip. Health care providers come from a lot of different backgrounds and cultures. If you have no advance directives and no relatives immediately available they will make a decision and it will usually be to use what ever means available to prolong your life. It doesn’t take but a few days to use up your personal wealth and leave you the same way you came in, still on your death bed. So do everyone a favor and create your advanced directives, have it notarized and let the person you want to make your decisions aware of it, read it and agree to follow it and where to find it is important also. It basically comes down to; if I’m dead, let me die. If I have a reasonable chance of survival and having a somewhat normal life and abilities save me. The controversy is; they can keep your body functioning in a stupor without any meaningful social functioning or possibility of improvement. What do you want to happen to you. DNR – let me die, Full code – save me, or you can specify where the end of treatment is. Unless you have advance directives specifying DNR or your limits to treatment, you’re a full code and every means available will be use to prolong the life of your body. Me, I’m a DNR. I’d rather be with my Lord and Savior in heaven than on a ventilator in a nursing home.
Where to get an advance directive – the internet is full of options, hospitals and clinics have information and often actually have staff who can help you. Military, active, retired, reserve, nation guard have JAG.

JoAnn Pajunas
JoAnn Pajunas
10 months ago

Thank you for this reminder. Do you have any referrals for good legal aide to use?

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