We may all reach a point where we are no longer able to make the best decisions for our own medical care. We must recognize this possibility, realize it may happen suddenly or slowly, and plan accordingly. Getting dignified and appropriate healthcare may not be easy when you are severely ill, especially if you are not able to express your wishes, and at the end of your life.
While you can’t predict every possibility, you must plan for the life and death decisions that may need to be made when you are seriously or terminally ill that are important to you. This will ease the burden of decisions that your family would otherwise need to make for you if you become unable to make them for yourself.
These are the most common situations where this could happen.
Many neurologic conditions which affect the brain may result in loss of your ability to make your own medical decisions. Whether it is sudden such as a head injury or brain infection, or progresses over time as with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, it is important to plan.
In this section, we will provide guidance on these issues and point you toward resources that will help you create a plan and set it in motion.