No one expects or plans to be seriously injured or ill. Lamar Odom probably didn’t plan on going into a coma during his alcohol and herbal sexual enhancement supplement fueled visit to that Nevada brothel, but these things happen. We all do stupid, perhaps life threatening, things from time to time and most of the time we just luck out. YouTube is filled with people risking death and quadriplegia in search of a well documented thrill.But you don’t need to belong to a fight club or jump off cliffs in a flying suit to find yourself seriously injured and unable to speak. All it may take is a bicycle ride and a distracted food truck driver or too many drinks and an uneven staircase for you to land yourself in your local hospital on a respirator.
How do you find power when you find yourself powerless, unconscious and surrounded by people speaking in hushed tones at your hospital bed? By thinking ahead and creating an Advanced Health Care Directive. It will give you power when you are powerless.
If you’re unconscious, unable to communicate, what treatment would you want? Who do you want to speak for you if you can’t speak? With a directive you have the power to spell out what treatment you would want and not want and who should be making decisions for you.
Without such a document a petition could be filed in probate court so it can be determined if you have the capacity to make medical decisions and if not, to designate someone to make those decisions for you. The petition can be filed by a “relative or friend of the patient, or other interested person.”
We strive to try to maintain as much control over our lives as we can. In what could be the most critical moment in your life, when you’re at the crossroads between life and death, would you want your estranged wife Khloe deciding whether or not to “pull the plug”?
If not, do yourself a favor. Execute an Advanced Health Care Directive before that UPS truck with your name on it crosses your path.