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How To Decide: What Would I Want To Happen Medically If I Cannot Speak For Myself?

Tips For Thinking About Your Values With Respect To Advance Directives

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To help clarify your thinking about your values in case of medical need when you are unable to speak for yourself, consider the following questions:

  • What do you most value about your physical or mental well being?
  • What are your fears regarding the end of life? For example:
    • Being in pain
    • Losing the ability to think
    • Losing the ability to take care of yourself (such as dressing, bathing, and eating)
    • Losing the ability to get around on your own
    • Being a financial burden
  • Would you want hospice care - care which only takes care of your comfort and stops fighting to cure your medical condition? (To learn about hospice care, click here.)
  • What gives life meaning and purpose for you?
  • What religious or spiritual concepts are overriding for you? How do those concepts translate into practical terms? For instance, does your religion forbid blood transfusions under any circumstances? Does it consider not doing everything humanly possible to continue to live the same thing as suicide, which is forbidden by your religion?

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