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August 18, 2008

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Net

This is an extremely good topic. My mother just passed away after 4-5 weeks in ICU. She had signed a Living Will but we kept her on a ventilator because there was hope. At one point she was off the ventilator and started choking from vomit and stopped breathing. My sister was ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL because she did not let my mother die at that point. Back on the ventilator she lived for a few more weeks and outstanding things happened in regard to our relationship. It's all a very long story, but Living Wills are a nightmare.

I have put my husband and children in charge of my future should I not be able to act upon it ... it's a big relief all around. I think Living Wills are very selfish. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to my mom when she first needed a ventilator ... the extra 4 weeks or so of hope, prayer, and connecting with my mother I wouldn't give up for anything. And I'm certain she now feels the same way too.

Joy Fulleman

Great article. We just concluded two months in two different hospitals fighting for my grandmother's life who was on a ventilator. Thank the Lord, she did not have a living will and my mom had POA. Those two months were a trial yet a great blessing. In times of sickness, never give up.

Teblen1

Yes! Living Wills are distributed through packages given to patients in the hospitals and physicians' offices and emergency rooms and there is NO notice provided that informs that under federal and state law, there is NO requirement that incoming patients provide a living will or Power of Attorney to the hospital. Under the law, patients are assumed to be in full code status UNLESS they revoke their full code status with an advanced directive/living will and agree to the shortening of their lives, whether or NOT the refused treatment is deemed medically futile by the hospital.

I believe that misuse of DNR Code Status among elderly Medicare patients is epidemic.

The hospitals/physicians use the Living Wills to extrapolate DNR code status into the hospital charts of patients which then allows them to limit further treatment when they KNOW that Medicare and private insurers will not reimburse for further treatment because of non beneficial over treatment, mistakes, errors, and when the patient has exceeded the Diagnosis Related Group Cap for the cancer/disease that is being treated.

Pretty ugly stuff going on under the radar of public scrutiny but it is NOT a political thing. This has been going on for years under both political parties but it is too politically explosive and neither party wants to bring it to the public's attention. .

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