March 24, 2005

Don't Be Caught Legally Nonbinding

”Living wills,” documents in which people spell out their wishes for specific circumstances or specific procedures, are not legally binding in Massachusetts, and specialists warn that they can be problematic since they may not cover the specific situations that eventually occur. Dr. Michael Grodin, director of medical ethics at Boston University medical school, suggested instead that people write out some general guidelines and give them to their health proxy.

This article form the Boston Globe provides recommendations for what MA residents can do to prevent a horrifying scenario in which you cannot articulate your wishes and there is no way to legally express them.

  • is a website with resources to help you put together your own health care proxy. It’s available thanks to the Massachusetts Medical Society.
  • is the site of the Central Massachusetts Partnership to Improve Care at the End of Life - a community coalition of professional, civic, business and religious leaders committed to the vision that all persons in Central Massachusetts live their last days in this life as comfortably as possible, in the setting of their choice, according to their expressed wishes, while they and their families are supported by a caring community.

If you are concerned about what is happening in Florida with Mrs. Schiavo and the ridiculous lengths to which your president, his brother and congress have gone to meddle in a painful personal matter, these resources should be of help.

(Thanks, Patti, for the article link)

Posted by James at March 24, 2005 4:02 PM
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