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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Do Not Resuscitate

Resuscitation is a relatively recent discovery because for millennia mankind defined death as definite. There were no techniques to reignite the flame once it was extinguished. Lives could be saved using a series of well known safeguards and medicines, but once it occurred there was no reversing it again. A man was born, living, dying and dead. That was all. So there were no moral decisions to restore, or not restore, life once it ended. Today, we consider something called Quality of Life. Mankind had joined the gods in preserving and restoring life in ways not possible before. We lived longer or better, generally speaking, than any of our ancestors through the Medical Arts and Sciences of our times.

With these powers came the responsibility of assigning the Agency of decision whether it is appropriate to withhold life restoring and preserving measures. The Principle that just because we CAN do something does not necessarily follow that we SHOULD do something became relevant. 

In my Power of Attorney for Health Care I have assigned an Agent to make Medical end of life decisions of which I have clearly informed and defined that Agent what I would want done and what I would not want done should the situation arise that I could no longer make decisions for myself. It is a Legally Binding Document that also outlines specific choices I have considered regarding NOT being Intubated or given certain common Medical treatments or procedures while allowing others. I want to live. Still, I have certain beliefs that prohibit specific practices such as transfusing Blood or other Blood Products to save my life. There are now many alternatives that can be more effective. 

There could conceivably be a situation where the withholding of Transfusions of Blood or Blood Products could mean I would die. I accept that risk and absolve the physicians of liability should that happen. I want the best quality of health care and life that I can find within the parameters I have set.