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Living Wills

Don Wood

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I don't remember if I have every posted this info. When Lucie was in the hospital for pneumonia over a year ago, we learned a real important lesson about living wills. Lucie and I have them. When Lucie went into the hospital for pneumonia, they would not keep her in ICU because of the standing living will which blocked them from doing all they could to save her. Whoops! We meant the living wills for when one of us is terminal, and not for bouts with infection, pneumonia, etc. It wasn't until Lucie signed a waiver of the living will could they do what was necessary to help her recover. Just a word to the wise. Don

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I have a living will, but there is one special part covering

ONLY the end of life.

Treatments for sickness is under consent for treatments.

(some are refused on account of medical allergies)

But it is different here in Canada.

Thank you for the information.


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Earl and I both had living wills. When Earl was first in the hospital and on life support, he was in a drug induced coma and on a ventilator. My friend who is a professor of critical care nursing gave me the following info about the living will.

She said they will ask if you have one. Say, Yes, but it is not here. End of sentence. They can not follow that directive unless they have the signed document. This gives the family the time as to when to give them the document.

I never had to use it, Earl died at home. But I would never had withheld it if the time was right, since that was his decision.

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My therapist pointed me to a living will called "The 5 Wishes" It goes far beyond the standard living will in that you can specify all sorts of things regarding how much care you want in what situation.

Five Wishes lets your family and doctors know:

Which person you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't make them.

The kind of medical treatment you want or don't want.

How comfortable you want to be.

How you want people to treat you.

What you want your loved ones to know.


I was really pleased with it, as the standard living will didn't say what I needed it to say.

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Yes, your spouse or designated person, if you have a medical power of attorney (something I recommend as well as the living will), can override the living will, if the patient cannot do it themselves. That is essentially what we did and will do in the future. Glad this info was of help to you all. Don

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