Do You Need To Update Your Living Will?

view from Chocorua

A living will, also called an advance health care directive, is a place to lay out your wishes for medical care and treatment at the end of your life. The hope is that your appointed agents will make sure these wishes are carried out. You can specify things such as whether or not you want a feeding tube or artificial respiration, any religious beliefs about medical care you might have, and even how you want to be treated towards the end of your life.

I review mine every so often to make sure it still reflects my wishes. One of my wishes is that if I am dying, I do not want to be in a hospital. I want to be brought outside. According to this article, a man in Washington state had the same wish. He had been a forest ranger and according to the article, he “hadn’t been outside in years because it was too difficult to transport him, according to Evergreen Hospice Volunteers.”  Fire fighters helped him outside this time, and wheeled him up and down the paths he loved.

It is lovely that he was able to finally go outside, and sad that he’d been confined inside for years simply because it was difficult to transport him.  I may need to update my living will to specify that I would rather be put at risk while being transported outside than to be kept inside.

(The picture above is one I took this past weekend, from the summit of Mt. Chocorua in New Hampshire. I think asking my health care agents to haul me all the way there would be going a little too far, but maybe they can fling some of my ashes of the rocks after I am gone.)

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