A message from Anne Fox:
At the “Death with Real Dignity” conference, Allison Ledoux reminded attendees of two very important items.
First: You must have a Health Care Proxy. You must have it on file everywhere you possibly can. You must make it part of your annual check-up to be sure your doctor still has a copy. You must bring a copy with you to the hospital so you can use it instead of their generic one.
You can download, sign, and copy, National Right to Life Will to Live, https://www.nrlc.org/medethics
Or use the Health Care Proxy from the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, http://www.macatholic.org/prox
Second, never agree to anything at first. Keep asking what the person means and then take plenty of time to think before agreeing to anything. I am afraid you have had an experience like mine. An associate of my mother’s doctor called me the day after my mother had had a heart attack. She danced around what seemed to be a request not to use extraordinary means. Only later did we discover that they had put on a Do Not Resuscitate order without permission from my mother.
And I would add an amazing help in making serious health care decisions. That is Patricia Stewart’s little workbook, The Healthcare Decision Guide for Catholics from http://sweetapplepress.com/hea
Things are not good but taking the steps above for ourselves and our loved ones will help.