Doctors advise preparing an advance care directive amid COVID-19 crisis
ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 9) - End-of-life decisions are so uncomfortable, that only one out of three Americans has an advance care directive. With the pandemic, doctors advise people to consider what kind of life decisions they would make and what kind medical care they’d desire.
“If they are person who would want to try being on a ventilator for a period of time, if they might see some improvement or are they a person who really feels that in their core they would never want to be in an intensive care unit for a long period of time and wouldn’t want to try intensive care therapy?” said Dr. Erin DeMartino, a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist.
These are individual choices. Tragically, they are choices most choose not to make, which means families end up making them in very stressful moments.
“It’s a real gift when a conversation like this has happened in advance of an illness because it kind of lifts some of the burden of the people who are still awake and alert and able to make decisions as opposed to having to guess as to what somebody might have wanted,” said Dr. DeMartino.
The Attorney General’s Office has made it a little easier for you to have that conversation and document your wishes. On their website, you can download a sample care directive form. It walks through the decisions you’d like doctors to know. You would need to sign the document, along with two witnesses.
Don’t lock this away in a safety deposit box. In fact, bring a copy with you to the hospital should you have to do.