Saturday, July 25, 2009

A humble request.

In light of recent events and in celebration of finishing my summer practicum, I have decided to write a sort of living will.

I am a huge, huge beleiver in compassionate euthanasia (used in the right circumstances). I beleive that it could and should be used at a person's request in order to allow people to choose to die with dignity and comfort. If I move away from here, I will probably move to the Netherlands or Oregon or somewhere else which allows the use of compassionate euthanasia.

With the elderly being the highest consumers of health care, one of the most common things we see in the hospital is dementia. And I began thinking: what If I become too demented to request the dignified death I want and deserve?

So, that said, here is my living will in case I ever get dementia (based on recent hospital experiences). If you don't enjoy talk about poop, you probably should stop reading now.
  1. I am okay with being incontinent of urine. I know this is a pretty common and unavoidable thing for a great many older adults. However, if I am unaware of the fact that I have peed myself, If I choose to go in a diaper instead of in the toilet, or if I am regularly incontinent of stool, it's probably time to go.
  2. If I ever attempt to disempact myself, especially with an ungloved hand, it's probably time to go.
  3. especially if I manage to fit MY ENTIRE HAND up to the wrist up there.
  4. If I ever become so confused that I pull a catheter out of my bladder, it's probably time to go.
  5. I am okay with meeting new people every day, but If I forget the names or faces of family members, it's probably time to go. If I start mistaking caregivers for family members, it's definitely time to go
  6. If I donate all my money to a church or charity to the extent that I am unable to pay my rent or mortgage, it's probably time to go.
  7. If I am in the hospital as a patient and beleive I am at work and that my roommate is my patient, it's probably time to go.
  8. If I am in the hospital and crawl pantsless into bed with another patient because they are complaining of being cold, it's probably time to go.
  9. If I ever poop or pee on the floor because I forgot where the bathroom is, it's probably time to go.
  10. If I am ever unable to be reasoned with or become violent and need restraining, chemical or physical, it's probably time to go.
  11. If I become disruptive to the point of being a 'hall monitor' patient, it's probably time to go.
  12. If I ever hallucinate about politicians standing over my bed and attempt to physically harm them, it's probably time to go.


  1. amen sister! im assuming you are a nurse? im in nursing school...couldnt agree more, seeing all of these things definitely helps you realise what you do and do not want for yourself.

  2. hi, Dorothy!
    I'm not quite a nurse; I'm beginning my fourth year. It feels like it's taken forever to get here though. yay for nursing school! If your school of nursing is anything like mine, i'm sure we could have a fantastic conversation about all the 'this is BS, I QUIT! moments'. Worth it in the end, though :)