S1E09: Advance Directives

In this episode we delve deep into Advance Directives. We often have misconceptions that advance directives are only for older people or people that are dying. But did you know the whole reason they exist were from two young people that had terrible accidents, leaving friends and family members to fight for what they knew they would want? These documents are valid for anyone 18 or older who want to take control of their own bodies.

Marianne talks about advance directives, and Charlie discusses more some of his personal experience in the field. An example of the reason we need advance directives is given from the film Rashomon (1950).

Rashomon (1950). The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai’s ghost and a woodcutter. Director: Akira Kurosawa

Our memories are like this film.  Many people do not have an advance directive because they say they never “got around to doing it”.  We encourage people to do it for themselves, and if not that, to complete one to make it easier for the family.  Please read the blog post for this week written by a man who was suddenly confronted with a very difficult and sudden decision for his wife when she was unable to make decisions for herself.  He writes about how he used her advance directive with his family to make decisions. 

But did having an advance directive really help the family?  Today we are talking with his daughter, Abby about her perception of the use of the advance directive.  Like the movie Roshamon, people see the same story from their own unique perspectives.

We finish with an introduction to a fantastic poem by Tim Boon, RN, the CEO of Good Shepherd Community Care in Newton, MA. He is helped along by ZDoggMD in this fun video.


Advance Directives

  • Instructions given by a patient while they still have decisional capacity concerning medical treatment they would or would not want.
  • Formal advance directives typically consist of either a living will or a written health care proxy.

Durable power of attorney for health care

  • A legal document that an individual signs, while competent, to designate who will make their healthcare decisions if they become incompetent (e.g. comatose, confused).

Other Links:

The Vultures are Circling

Charlie shares more with us about some of the scams being cooked up by evil-doers in the wake of COVID-19 and how you can protect yourself.

Recipe of the week

This week isn’t so much a recipe as a drink served up by our Executive Producer:

  • 2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower
  • Splash of lime

Try it with a sprig of rosemary or lavender!

Do you have any stories of how an advanced directive has impacted your family? Or what does it mean to you? Why do you feel it is important? Tell us in your comments or join the discussion on Facebook!

Join the discussion

More from this show

Follow Us