October 15, 2005
Are You Sure You Want a Living Will?Topics: Commentary
Since the court-sanctioned death of Florida's Terri Schiavo, the conversational media and written press have predictably and (almost) obediently echoed sentiments of self-proclaimed bioethicists in touting living wills as a measure to ensure that one's own autonomy and personal directives are observed and held fast to in times of medical crisis.
Using the unfortunate Terri Schiavo as their unconsenting poster child, a good many media outlets and bioethics 'experts' have screamed from the rooftops that no one should ever allow a fate such as hers to befall them. In other words, sign your life away now so that no one can fight for it later, should you become unable to speak for yourself.
A living will has nothing to do with living. It, instead, has everything to do with dying. It has to do with granting permission to others to withdraw medically necessary care from you so that you can either die naturally or die quickly - whichever comes first. For many people, the provision of artificial life support when death is eminent can seem unreasonable and unwanted. That's certainly understandable. But, consenting to such a thing can be a hazard inasmuch as it opens the door for the removal of medically necessary treatment when death isn't eminent.
Read the rest at Pamela Hennessy's Blog
Posted by tim at October 15, 2005 10:57 PM
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