No matter your age, overall wellness or visions for the future, you would be wise to determine your end-of-life choices. While you probably would rather not think about dying, the unfortunate reality is that you never know when questions about life-sustaining measures will arise.
Given the complexity and uncertainty of the current global health crisis, who would make decisions on your behalf if you were to contract the virus? Meanwhile, if your advanced healthcare directive is out-of-date, would your loved ones know what your treatment choices would be?
Considerations for updating your wishes
Like most people, your goals will change over time. Becoming a parent or changing your marital status can significantly alter the way you envision handling serious medical issues.
Spending the majority of your time at home and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when you must go out probably helps relieve your fear about what could happen in the upcoming months. However, being prepared for the unexpected may be helpful for your family, should you become infected.
During this pandemic, a thorough review of your advance directive will help you consider factors such as:
- Your willingness to have difficult discussions with your loved ones will inform them of your wishes and equip them to proceed accordingly.
- What kind of treatment medical professionals would provide if you stopped breathing or could no longer feed yourself.
- How extensive you want life-prolonging measures to be. For example, under which circumstances you would want to be resuscitated.
There is a low probability that the Coronavirus will take your life. However, receiving a serious diagnosis could challenge your thought process, and being in pain may make you change your mind about the directions you previously put in place.
It is always a good idea to review your healthcare directive as you grow older. While you hope to maintain your good health, making sure your legal documentation aligns with your current desires can provide peace of mind – hopefully, for the next phase of your life.