There are many advantages to planning ahead. There is nothing more certain than death (and taxes) and it is best to plan ahead for a certainty. In the UK, although the official line is to encourage Living Wills or Advanced Directives (ADs), (The Christie NHS Foundation Trust) very few people actually take the trouble to do one. Facing up to reality is as difficult for us all as individuals as it is for the Politicians running the Regional Health Services so dishonestly…
An AD is not a request for Euthanasia. Some of us think it sad that we cannot have the same humane end of life care as animals, but we seem to be a small minority at present.. The Royal College of Vetinary Surgeons (RCVS) talks about “killing to relieve suffering” on its website.. There are arguments for and against Euthanasia…
AD is particularly relevant where a cancer leads to unbearable pain and where the drugs needed to gain control of that pain make the patient virtually unconscious, or in advanced neurodegenerative diseases such as the dementias, MS or Motor Neurone Disease.
The shorter and simpler your AD the better. If you lie flat you will get “hypostatic pneumonia a type seen in the weak or elderly, due to excessive lying on the back” – would you like to go this way? My Own Advance Decision or Living Will – this file gives you some idea of the amendments I have made (italics) to the Christie NHS foundation trust template.
The Alzheimer’s Society discusses Advance decisions and advance statements and has their forms for download.
Euthanasia: A Licence to Kill? by Anthony Smith (13 Apr 2006)
A Time to Live: The Case Against Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide by George Pitcher (23 Jul 2010)
Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide (vol. 217 Issues Series) by Lisa Firth (12 Sep 2011)
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (Serpent’s Tail Classics) by Horace McCoy
Should there be a reward for registering an AD? Deserts based rationing might say “yes”…