Saturday, March 26, 2005
Living Wills or Directives Are a Must
There are two hard aspects to this case that I agonize over, as most people would:
1) that life is precious, and it is appropriate to do all you can to preserve it; and
2) once the judgement by competent medical experts is that their patient, after full testing has been done, is in a Persistent Vegetative State, then it is time to let go. Until that decision has been made, however, every effort to keep the patient alive and comfortable is warranted.
I encourage everyone to obtain a written Living Will or an Advanced Directive that sets forth your wishes about medical intervention when you cannot make the decision yourself. This is the overwhelming lesson of the case for the rest of us. It has been estimated that only 25% of the population of the US has such a will or directive.