Skip to comments.Standard Florida Living Will [check yours too: could be deadly]
Posted on 08/31/2006 10:54:06 PM PDT by Avoiding_Sulla
I am abundanlty clear that the danger is not readily apparent until you look closely.
Please note that the attending or treating physician and his consultant colleague may be total strangers to you. I think this is made clear when the second mention of physician is made. Your family and family physician may be barred from protecting you from some quacks attending you after you've been brought into an emergency room.
The simple solution is to change the document as in the following example:
with unanimous consent of my spouse and children, if my attending or treating physician and another consulting physician have determined...
That should protect you against some unknown Doctor Death and his colleagues.
I was wondering how this could have been written in its original form. My guess is that its a holdover from the choice movement and abortions. The argument there is that if others are involved they may prevent the woman from terminating her pregnancy for reasons that run contrary to the woman. But at least in that instance the woman is conscious.
In this instance, you may very well be saved by a loved one who has hope.
Now, if you don't care, don't add the unanimous part. But I think you may actually wnat to have someone who actually knows you have some say in the matter. And these standard forms don't provide that. They actually prevent it.
If you recognize the problem, you may want to pass the concern along to those you care about.
This group may also find other items at Pascal Fervor of common interest too.
Florida is NOT a state to grow old in. People who could care less about YOU make the call whether you live or die regardless of your true medical condition.
We found out the hard way ... when they "sedate" you and you are terminal via cancer etc. - "sedation" means to put you under just BELOW the legal limit of murdering you. They deny the person HYDRATION and FOOD and just enough pain killers to avoid the legal limit of murder. In other words the patients death is sped up to give the bed to the next person.
This happened to an in law on mine in a HOSPICE called HOPE HOSPICE in FORT MEYERS Florida. THIS is how they operate. We thought they were just calming her down by "sedating" her. What made her upset was being there. She had a change of mind and wanted to die at home rather than there. In her rush to get dressed and leave, she slipped and fell. The nurses mistook this for being "hysterical". She wasn't. She was in a rush to leave and not having the full use of her legs and slipping is what upset her.
The doctor immediately "sedated" her. She remained "sedated" for seven more days - never closing her eyes since she was "sedated". It was horrible beyond words. When her husband realized something was wrong ... not blinking he demanded he "bring her back" so she could leave and die at home - the doctor refused.
Florida is one of the WORST states if not the worst state to be old and in poor health. It's a death factory down there.
In short, the DOCTOR has the FINAL say as to whether you live or die. It doesn't matter what the FAMILY wants. Doctors rule.
Both my in-laws passed away in Florida. Both had living wills, but living wills are not the binding legal document people think they are. What you really need is a "health care surrogate" document designating a person/persons as your health care surrogate who will make decisions for you.
Your health care surrogate should make decisions, based on what is stated in your "living will."
This is exactly how it worked for both my in-laws. We followed the wishes laid out in their living wills. Sometimes that meant arguing and refusing things doctors were trying to do, when the living will stated otherwise.
Our problem was opposite from most, I guess. The living wills had set forth exact terms and the doctors were trying to do "more" than was put forth (both in-laws were very elderly when they passed away.)
My 92 year old FIL (who had had strokes that left him with severe memory and mobility issues, hip surgery, and was suffering from MRSA pneumonia) had stated in his living will that he did not want "artificial" nutrition, only hydration and medication. We were being presurred by doctors to insert a feeding tube. We insisted on only hydration and medication being administered via IV, as listed in his living will. We went to the hospital to try to feed him, little smounts, every couple of hours (we did the same with my MIL when she was dying.) That was not "artificially" feeding him, but allowing him to take nourishment if he was able.
So I guess our experience was not typical. My advice, find a health care surrogate you trust, and get a document drawn up.
P.S. I think the bit about having unanimous consent from spouse and children is a recipe for disaster. Make your wishes know, then give one person the authroity to insist on those wishes, just make sure it's someone with the fortitude to stand up to the doctors and insist on your wishes.
If you are "old and in poor health", you go to a hospital. The hospitals in Florida are excellent.
If you are dying and have less than six months to live, you go to a hospice. See the difference?
But you left out page six. Why?
"In short" is the operative phrase. Avoiding_Sulla left out page six.
My warning is for those who have already signed the standard living will. See there in my title, "check yours: could be deadly."
Because of all the press about "living wills," many never asked about a health care surrogate (the subject of page 6).
Page 5 -- the living will -- is a standalone document all by itself. It doesn't require page six, as declared on page one of the link: "You might choose to complete one, two, or all three of these forms. "
And from Pascal's example, his mom wasn't offered anything but an older version of page 5. Apparently she had asked her lawyer for a living will, and he provided the standard form without offering any further advice.
What do you want to bet that many people never knew to ask about anything but the living will?
Hence, I think your point is worthy of another thread to point that out.
However, don't you think there may be another problem here too?
Say you take the page one advice and sign both the living will and health care surrogate. The wording of the living will as it stands in this uncustomized form would not allow your health care surrogate to intervene either.
To solve that problem, change the standard living will to read
What do you think?