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Random Thoughts About Whatever Comes to Mind

Barbara Bush's Care Decision

Everyone sends kind thoughts to Mrs. Bush, wife of our 41st president, and her family. Handling long-term health issues, she has made a brave and no doubt carefully considered decision to end aggressive medical treatment and enter into palliative care.

Mrs. Bush is fortunate to be surrounded by a loving and actively involved family to reinforce her decision.

Not everyone is that fortunate. That is why everyone, I repeat, everyone, of any age, needs advance care directives so that care providers and family members can have no doubt as to the individual's wishes for how care is to be handled in various medical situations.

Check out these sites for more information and downloadable forms, instructions, and/or further information: (1) caringinfo.org/14a/pages/index...-3289; (2) aarp.org/.../free-printable-advance directives; (3) mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/.../.../.../living-wills/art-20046303; (4) medicare.gov/manage-your-health/advance-directives/advance-directives-and-long-term-care.html. There are many other excellent sites, but these are extremely helpful.

Don't put it off. Even a 21-year-old has the right to say what s/he wants done in the event of illness or accident that so incapacitates the victim that individual wishes as to treatment can't be shared.

Advance directives, aka a living will, aren't just about "pull the plug" incidentally, but cover a variety of situations. Check it out. You'll feel better for it. In a way, it's the best favor you can do your family. It's certainly a favor for yourself that only you can do.