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End of Life decisions
Old 09-10-2011, 04:14 AM   #1
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End of Life decisions

Having updated our will after RE'ing and re-locating we also updated our living wills and made sure our children knew what our wishes are.

In the news in the UK this week is an 81 year old woman who wants to be absolutely sure there is no doubt about what her end-of-life wishes are.

Joy Tomkins, 81, has 'do not resuscitate' tattoo on her chest and PTO inked on her back | Mail Online

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A grandmother who wants doctors to let her die if she falls ill has had 'Do Not Resuscitate' tattooed across her chest......

Mrs Tomkins has also had 'PTO' and an arrow inked onto her back so that paramedics will read the words on her chest if she collapses face first.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:56 AM   #2
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It is important to be clear of your last wishes even as to where you want to die and how your funeral arrangements are. My dad passed away last week. Whilst he was seeking medical treatment in another country (not his home country), he wanted to die in his own country, own town and esp own home. He did not want noisy funeral ceremonies. We granted him all his wishes.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:11 AM   #3
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It is important to be clear of your last wishes even as to where you want to die and how your funeral arrangements are. My dad passed away last week. Whilst he was seeking medical treatment in another country (not his home country), he wanted to die in his own country, own town and esp own home. He did not want noisy funeral ceremonies. We granted him all his wishes.
I'm very sorry to hear about your Dad.

DW's parents each had clear instructions in their wills about funeral arrangements and even named a charity for donations in lieu of flowers from friends and family. My Dad had spoken to us several times about his wishes. It did make it a lot easier when they each passed away recently.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:18 AM   #4
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I am almost as nutty on the topic as Joy. I hear lots of anecdotes about medical personnel revisiting advanced directives with relatives and contravening the patient's clearly expressed wishes. Something like that happened to my brother in law. Maybe when I hit 80 I will tattoo "Save me and I'll sue you" on my chest.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #5
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One of the challenges with death is this: When you sort of get it all figured out, you have run out of parents, aunts, and uncles. You are next on the list.

Recently, as my mother was nearing the end of her life, the hospital home health care folks came in to do an assessment. Mom was struggling with chemo. The hospital home care folks would send assorted staff as needed to check on her. Before that started, they wanted to see if there were any tests that should be run while she was still in the hospital. Chest Xray, CT-scan, mammegram, pap smear... And then while at home, did she need any physical therapy, music therapy, speech therapy,...

They could have come right out and said: "Is there anything else that we can bill Medicare for at this time?" But that would have been too obvious.

Most of the staff was excellent. When Mom moved to hospice, she made the comment: "I wonder if we made a mistake with your Dad, continuing to fight the last three or four weeks. The hospice home was an excellent place. None of the noise and confusion of the hospital, beautiful decor, understanding and compassionate staff. I would like to go as well as my Mom did.

She had made her wishes clear as to what type of service, most of the arrangements. She did it right.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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I like Mrs Tomkins' idea. The message is perfectly clear. Of course there's no changing your mind without tattoo removal!
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:44 AM   #7
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Or ink over the "not".
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Having updated our will after RE'ing and re-locating we also updated our living wills and made sure our children knew what our wishes are.

In the news in the UK this week is an 81 year old woman who wants to be absolutely sure there is no doubt about what her end-of-life wishes are.

Joy Tomkins, 81, has 'do not resuscitate' tattoo on her chest and PTO inked on her back | Mail Online
Sounds good to me.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:37 AM   #9
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What does one need to do if one intends to donate organs after death to other living patients or research? Sometimes telling loved ones wishes like these may not work as they may not carry them out as they find such last wishes unacceptable? Other than resorting to lawyers, how does one go about ensuring such last wishes are satisfied?
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
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What does one need to do if one intends to donate organs after death to other living patients or research? Sometimes telling loved ones wishes like these may not work as they may not carry them out as they find such last wishes unacceptable? Other than resorting to lawyers, how does one go about ensuring such last wishes are satisfied?
Most states have an Organ Donor program as part of their Drivers License departments. I am an organ donor on my DL; woe be to whomever gets my liver....but seriously, that is one way to do it. Another is on your Will or other final documents like a Living Will or just instructions to your loved ones letting them know it is your final wish to do so and they better do it or you will come back and haunt them.

Having gone through an unexpected End of Life Decision a few years ago with my late wife it can be a rough time dealing with "well meaning" hospital staff as well as distant family and friends on all final decisions. Having a discussion with your loved one before their death is very very important to know what they want or don't want. In my case, my wife's family lived thousands of miles away and left me with the entire burden of all the decisions on the funeral etc. They could not even attend the funeral. I still have items belonging to her family that I don't have the heart to discard because someone should keep them in their family.

Anyway, knowing what you or your loved one wants or does not want is very important and should be documented in case both or you die at the same time or one becomes incapacitated and cannot address the final decisions. Wills are a good place for this but one must let family know where it is and what is in it relative to your funeral arrangements. My parents went so far a pre-paying for their entire funeral and itemizing exactly what was to be said and sung at their funeral. As for me, I don't care as I won't be around to see it so burn me, bury me or scatter me to the four winds...it matters not to me. Just remember I was here and I tried to do what was right with my life...beyond that have a ball and drink a round or two for me.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:15 AM   #11
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...............or just instructions to your loved ones letting them know it is your final wish to do so and they better do it or you will come back and haunt them.
.................................................. .........................
As for me, I don't care as I won't be around to see it so burn me, bury me or scatter me to the four winds...it matters not to me. Just remember I was here and I tried to do what was right with my life...beyond that have a ball and drink a round or two for me.
I like the haunting suggestion. Will work on my siblings; doubtful it'll work on my spouse. The only thing that scares him is a lack of $$$. It also does not matter to me how my physical person is disposed of after I die as long I am ascertained dead before destruction of my body - don't want to wake up and find myself 6 ft under. My spouse did say he'll scatter me into the sea - sounds ok to me.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:31 AM   #12
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You can go as far as to make an arrangement with a local university, or with a national company to collect your body for harvesting the organs and/or using your body for research or teaching. We have done such a thing, and named the company with appropriate phone numbers in our wills and informed the children of our wishes.

Even if our bodies are only good for teaching paramedics how to do intubation that is what we want.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:30 AM   #13
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I have threatened to haunt several people. The scary part is they believe me.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #14
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We have selected an alternate DHCPOA for both of us that is a no-nonsense nurse friend. She will make sure, in the event of a common disaster, that our wishes are carried out. The Durable Health Care POA is an important part of your estate planning and should be specific to the state in which you reside, so if you move, be sure to update it with your new state and provide copies to your primary and contingent DHCPOA.
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