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imagesQK1HOH3VThere are many facets to aging, and as an ER doctor, I have dealt mostly with the chronically-ill, nursing home- housed subset.  It is an important topic, but many of us neglect to plan for it simply because we choose not to think about it for obvious reasons.  However, we all age and it is much less traumatic for our loved ones, if we have clear directions to follow if we become unable to make decisions for ourselves.  For example, there is a legal document called a “living will” that details the extent to which we would prefer medicine to intervene to extend our lives.  This is not a “hands off” or “Do Nothing” directive.  It simply outlines whether we would prefer to have “full” resuscitative measures-including intubation- performed in the event that our heart stops, or would we prefer some limits.  I , myself, have a “living will”.  Everyone is different, with different desires and expectations, but we should not wait until a “crisis” arises and we are in the emergency room to think about the extremely important decisions that will impact our lives.  Perhaps we want “everything”, or maybe “let nature take its course”.  In either event, it is important to make our desires known and even put it in “writing” with a living will.  It is tragic to wait until we are in the ER, and “stressed”, to try and make all of these decisions.


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