Good Alternative to Living Wills

Millions of horrified Americans watched as Terri Schiavo was intentionally and cruelly killed by dehydration and starvation. During the weeks our nation was captivated by this unfolding tragedy, one particularly dangerous message was being stressed over and over again.

A huge percentage of the media, as well as good-intentioned individuals and organizations, was telling the public to get a living will. This, they said, would prevent future emotional turmoil for families involved in similar situations.

Nothing could be further from the truth. No living will in existence could begin to cover the myriad of possible future medical problems you or a loved-one may face. Quite the contrary, many are written from a “quality of life” ethic, meaning your value as a human being diminishes as your inability to contribute to society increases. Many living wills assume a desire by the patient to withdraw nutrition and hydration under a wide array of circumstances. This means you would be at a greater risk of dying in the same painful way that Terri did. Ironically, in Florida, you couldn’’t do that to a dog and get away with it, but the courts consider it acceptable “medical treatment” for certain patients.

A positive alternative to living wills is a Durable Power of Attorney, also called a Will to Live. By signing this document, you place possible future decisions for your medical treatment in the hands of someone you trust in the event you are incapacitated. It will help safeguard against the “Michael Schiavos” who may have conflicts of interest when determining your care. A Durable Power of Attorney will also protect you and your family from doctors or other medical professionals who hold a “quality of life” ethic.

Go to the following link at National Right to Life Committee to download your free copy. Please encourage others to do the same. The life you protect may be your own.

Life Issues Institute welcomes comments relevant to columns that are civil, concise, and respectful of other contributors. We do not publish comments with links to other websites or other online material.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *