Advance Medical Directives: Planning for Your Future

Rosa* knew from experience the difficulties and expenses of watching a loved one die. She was totally devoted to her husband as he suffered and died from cancer eight years earlier. The idea of high medical bills, “tubes” and pain upset her, and even though she had not viewed her husband as a burden, she feared being one to her family.

Then, Rosa was hospitalized with a terrible urinary tract infection which made her dehydrated, weak and confused. Her daughter Teresa had been appointed as her health care agent. Teresa met with the medical staff, who helped her understand that the proposed treatments would not cause an undue burden to her mother. In fact, they would be temporary and appropriate care in Rosa’s situation. Teresa was grateful that the medications, nutrition and hydration that Rosa was given, all through “tubes,” cured her infection. Rosa is now as active as she has ever been and realizes that there are certain situations that can’t be anticipated when illness comes. It’s best not to refuse future care that may turn out to be very welcome.