Thursday, April 06, 2006

Our bodies, our selves.

This is outside my usual laser-like focus on my own inability to get through a day without screwing up, but here goes.

I was listening to a radio interview with Michael Schiavo, husband to Terri Schiavo, the woman who had been in a persistive vegetative state for fifteen years before Mr. Schiavo was granted the right to remove her feeding tube last year. No matter where you fall on the subject of her quality of life, her awareness of stimuli, or his right to do this, please consider this; if she had written out her wishes, this would have been settled much more easily and with less screaming and fewer broken hearts.

Any American even dimly aware of this last year probably thought at one point "That's it, I have got to write out a Living Will."; due to the usual distractions of living in the Modern Age, I am going to bet a lot of people never got around to it. So let me remind you to take a moment now and write down how you want to be treated. Go to this website and see what your state requires legally.

We are getting better and better at keeping bodies going, and if your goal is to stay here in any form, that's nothing but good news. But if you ever worry that you will be physically here long after your soul, or spirit, or whatever creates your own unique little pilot light has left, you want to do your loved ones a favor. Let them know how to take care of you lovingly and respectfully when you aren't in a position to tell them.

4 Comments:

Blogger Mel said...

Your link made your sidebar slide down to the bottom. If you use the "html" mode, you can put in the code by clicking on the keyboard icon. Put the URL in there and then insert your text.

Oh . . . wait, you probably already know this, so just disregard.

But your sidebar has fallen and it can't get up.

And thank you for the public service announcement.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Chris S. said...

Quinn--good reminder. Too many of us are uncomfortable talking about this subject..me included. I did download and print a couple copies of the Advanced Directives and will sit with hubby this weekend and talk (I might have to throw in a bottle of wine though :)

Chris (Ohio)

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right, Quinn. Thanks for the website.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Last year, my sister and I had to decide what to do when my mother had a brain haemorrhage. For us, as she was clearly gone, the decision was not so much about whether to remove life support, but whether she should be an organ donor, and what sort of funeral etc she wanted. My mum was ridiculously sensible about these things, and I had had any number of conversations with her about what she wanted done under these circumstances. It made an awful, painful situation so much easier to feel confident of the choices we were making; it also felt like she was still making her own decisions. She wasn't quite so gone. So, yes, talk about these things! Write down your wishes! I suppose, also, it's important not to shrink from thinking about them in the first place.

6:49 AM  

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