This article resonated so much with me as I read it. It is exactly the reason we started ADX Directives.

Having an Advanced Directive, and updating it annually, not only expresses your wishes clearly to your family and loved ones, but it can also assist them to be an advocate for you to ensure your wishes are met.

As an example, (Dave) “Adox had an advance directive that stated, ‘I do not want medical treatment that will keep me alive if I have an incurable and irreversible illness and the burdens of continued life with life-sustaining treatment become greater than the benefits I experience.’”

In instances even when wishes seem to be explicitly clear, it can still be challenging to have them executed upon. Sometimes medical staff may intervene feeling they are doing what is best for the patient, often this means keeping the patient alive for as long as possible… even when it is contrary to the patient’s wishes.

In this instance the doctors were very supportive, it was the hospital’s lawyers who intervened at the 11th hour, not concerned with the patient’s wishes, but rather liability for the hospital.

Dr. Joshua Mezrich, a transplant surgeon at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, “acknowledges this could challenge a key principle for physicians: First, do no harm. But that mandate can and should be interpreted broadly,” he believes.

“I think it’s fair to say that doing no harm doesn’t always mean making people live as long as possible — keeping them alive no matter what,” Mezrich says. “Sometimes, it means letting them have the death that they want, and it means letting them give this gift, if that’s what they want.”

This will always be a controversial topic, we can only hope that the relationship between doctor and patient and doctor and surrogate reaches a point where it is considered ‘ok’ to talk about how someone wants to die. For more on this article, please click on the link below.