Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How would you like to die?

Tell your doctor in a letter


Please cut and paste above link. Important information from Standford University. 

Once you have written your letter, I suggest the following. 

Perhaps the best way to help the MD know what you want is to make appt, tell the office manager you would like to speak with him/her privately, "What is the best time to make my appt so we have a little time to talk?". On conclusion of your visit hand him the letter. Ask him the best place to keep it so she will have it when the time comes. Every once in awhile you might wish to update it.

Make copies. Along with Durable Power of Attorney. When hospitalized talk with Social Worker, ask best place to keep it. At appropriate time have it taped to front of your chart. When you are home, have it on inside of front door or frig door. Have a friend, spouse on each hospitalization who kindly, "easy does it", goes through the same process of informing and guiding. 

If when you are critically ill or nearing the "end" have them diplomatically stay connected with staff so if things go the wrong way they can correct. It is a presence, legally backed up, that makes this work.

My experience in many years in hospitals and working with the dying, this needs to be an on going process. There will always be new interns, residents, social workers, hospice workers, agencies, etc etc that do not know what you want. And you must make sure your friend, spouse has notarized, authorized permission to be your legal "voice". Have the letter notarized. Have it scanned and in your chart, up front, with each hospitalization. 

I have been this through my ex husband's dying. Our grown daughter out of town. Your friend/spouse needs to be known, a friendly presence, with power to guide the people who will take over your care.


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