The Ever-Present Need For Living Wills and Health Care Proxies… Schiavo, Englaro and Many More

I’m reminded of the terrible case of Terry Schiavo when I see stories like this one on CNN this morning.  I’m also reminded that this unfortunate collision between the perceived intent of the disabled individual and, well, any other force, can be so easily avoided.  In the Schiavo case it was her parent’s religious beliefs that presented the bar against allowing Terry to die.  In this case, which played out in Italy, was Italian law that makes euthanasia illegal.  Patients in Italy do have the right to refuse treatment though and “[i]t is on that basis that [Eluana’s father] argued his daughter should be allowed to die, because she had expressed the wish not to be kept alive while in a coma — indirectly refusing treatment, he said.”

No deep musings or existential wisdom are needed here.  Let the world know how you feel about end of life decisions.  Call an estate planning attorney or, in many states, these forms are available online…  Maybe from your local bar association’s website even.  Google for “health care proxy form” and “living will form.”  Just do it.

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