One of the things you will hear over and over again from patient advocates, geriatric care managers, elderlaw lawyers, basically anyone in the field of eldercare, is that one needs to prepare Advanced Care Directives. Advanced Care Directive is an umbrella term that encompasses living wills, health care power of attorney, do not resuscitate and intubate directives, and MOST and Five Wishes forms.
Fine. So you’ve done that, you’ve taken care of that responsibility and now everyone will know what to do if and when the time comes. Unfortunately, like most endeavors that include human communication, things aren’t always so simple. This video, When Surrogates Override the DNR, shows just how messy and unclear situations can become when it involves the life of a loved one. It was created by a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins and is used as a teaching tool for health care professionals. Its main point is that having ACDs are not enough. They need to be accompanied by substantive communication with family and other loved ones. In addition, that conversation should be ongoing. As our situations change, so do our feelings and opinions about end of life issues.
Here are additional helpful videos that discuss Advanced Care Directives from a variety of angles made by Duke Medicine.