Prescription: “Do as I Say Not As I Would Do”

Doctors adviceWhy do doctors feel compelled to provide so-called heroic measures for their terminal patients knowing that they likely would  forgo such care for themselves at their end of lives?

Planning for your own end-of-life care can be an extremely difficult thing, but it is also a necessary act of bravery. Making the choices behind your living will and advanced medical directives is just this sort of imperative everyone of us will face eventually.

How do other people make their end-of-life decisions? Everyone varies medically, intellectually and culturally. In addition, there are some important religious questions that may come into play. In can be very helpful to learn from the practices of others, too.

A very important perspective to consider may well be doctors themselves. According to a post in the New Old Age Blog of The New York Times, there is a bit of a consensus among those who wear the white lab coats.  Although this post is more than a year old, I think it deserves a review.

The original post is titled “Do Not Resuscitate: What Young Doctors Would Choose” and, indeed, a Stanford study found that 88.3% of young doctors were inclined to specifically elect a do-not-resuscitate or “no code” status if they were in a terminally ill status.  How about you? Do you agree? Do you specifically disagree? Obviously, a great deal of thought and soul searching ought to proceed such a personal decision.

In fact, that’s actually the point: when it comes to your directives, your vantage point is the one that must be expressed or else doctors will be forced to act in ways you might not have otherwise chosen. Plan for yourself and for your loved ones by putting these plans down and in writing. Advanced medical directives are just one element of the plan, but they are an important piece to build into your overall life plan.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: elder law planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

ReferenceThe New York Times (May 20, 2014) “Do Not Resuscitate: What Young Doctors Would Choose

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