My cousin’s mother-in-law is in her late 90s. She had horrible osteoporosis and can barely move. She has little cognitive function left. She requires nearly 24-hour care and no one would even attempt to say she has any quality of life left. She told her son years ago that she was “ready to go,” and had had enough.
And yet when I asked my cousin’s husband if his mother had any do-not-resuscitate orders, or had ever completed an advanced director outlining her wishes of what kind of end-of-life care she wanted, he said no. His sister, he said, just wasn’t ready for that yet. So what, I asked, will you do when/if your mother gets pneumonia? Will you treat it with antibiotics? Will you put her on a respirator? If she is no longer able to eat, will you feed her through a tube?
He couldn’t answer. And he was clearly uncomfortable with the questions. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*