Decisions, decisions: Prepare an Advance Directive Now to Guide Your Loved Ones Later

Thursday, April 16, 2009 7:39 | Filled in Uncategorized

Today is National Health Care Decisions Day, sponsored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. The purpose of this day is to publicize the importance of discussing your wishes for the thing we may dread most in life. No, not having to pay taxes yesterday — end-of-life decisions.

My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 80…and 10 days later, he was dead. Nothing prepared me for the emotional impact of his death. But at least the ghost of Terry Schiavo did not haunt us. Luckily, he had prepared an advance directive, the formal name for a document that lays out his wishes (or lack of desire) for extraordinary life saving procedures. He wanted to die at home among his loved ones, and he got his wish.

I live only a few miles from where an out-of-control big rig killed two people and injured more before plunging into a bookstore in La Canada, California on April 1 this year. Life is short. Make it your action task to download an advance directive that is valid in the state where you live. Then follow through and make those tough decisions, write them down, and let your loved ones know what your wishes are.
Go to and click on Free Downloads to choose the advance directive specific for where you live.

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2 Comments to Decisions, decisions: Prepare an Advance Directive Now to Guide Your Loved Ones Later

  1. Petrea Burchard says:

    April 19th, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Wow. That’s telling it like it is. I was grateful my mother had the directive in place as well.

  2. Anne Louise Bannon says:

    April 28th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for the link. We’ve been looking for something like this since a friend of mine recently passed without any plans, directives or notes beyond some casual conversations. Trust me, it makes a difference to those left behind when you’re prepared.

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