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Valuable program helps Minnesotans with end-of-life choices.
The VA actively talks to veterans about end of life treatment and living wills. But outside of the VA we can't talk about these issues because of the republican notion of "Death Panels". But it's time to start. If need be EACH state should come up with a law forcing it's citizens to fill out end of life treatments for each person. The families of each person should be notified of the wishes of each person in the family. In my family we all thought we had plenty of time. Until my father laid down for a nap, and never woke up. When it happens to you, it makes you stop and think and it forces you to do the right thing.
American death rituals border on the ridiculous. We do everything in our power to pretend that it will never happen and when it does, that it didn't. Death is a part of life, it is inevitable and while we naturally avoid it, we need to pull our heads out of the sand and have frank discussions with our families: Our parents, our kids, our friends. I never want to be maintained by a ventilator for an extended period of time, but I damn sure don't want to starve to death either. What is 'extended'? what are 'heroic measures'. How should my remains be treated at the end? These things are written down and my family and friends know where. Do your?
The only thing more predictable than death in this country is taxes. If you are having end of life discussions, do not forget to call in the Estate planner.
Spending millions to keep someone alive for a few more days or weeks when the end result is certain is a waste of taxpayer resources. If someone wants to spend their own money on this, and they have the capacity to make the decision, fine.
Life is 100% fatal for humans.
mrobespierre: "do not forget to call in the Estate planner." Apparently you know nothing about estate taxes. Nice right-wing bit of propaganda, though. Estate taxes affect such a small fraction of our citizens, you might as well talk about getting e coli or swine flu.
holymoose: "Spending millions to keep someone alive...when the end result is certain...." The end result is always certain. And to suggest that we are spending millions to keep one person alive for a few weeks is absurd.
guessagain: "And to suggest that we are spending millions to keep one person alive for a few weeks is absurd." Ignorance is bliss.
The easiest way to assure that your wishes re end-of-life care are followed if you are terminal and for whatever reason cannot communicate an informed decision, is to write an advance directive ("living will"). Medical care providers are required to follow these. There are numerous on-line sites that have the resources (consulting an attorney is a good idea also). Spell out not only what you want vis a vis care, but also indicate who you would like to be your substitute decision-maker. I did this several years ago, with notarized copies to my doctor and both people who agreed to be substitute decision-makers, and has done a great deal for my peace-of-mind.
"Spending millions to keep someone alive for a few more days or weeks when the end result is certain is a waste of taxpayer resources." --- And liberals claim they are against death panels.
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