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It’s your life. Express yourself.

Life is full of options.  Have you bought a cup of coffee lately?  Simple thing, coffee, yet we’ve managed to make it extraordinarily personal because of all the options along the way.  Regular or decaff?  Drip or espresso?  Room for milk — whole, 2%, half-and-half, soy, almond?  Is that for here or to go?  Shot of vanilla?  Dash of cinnamon?  Any other personal touches?

People vary.  So if someone offered to get you a cup of coffee, would they know how you’d want it?  Do you know how your parents, your partner, your best friend. . . how do they take their coffee?

Write down what you want.  The same principles apply to medical care.  Let’s say, just suppose for a moment, that for some reason you can’t tell someone what you want.  Maybe you’re really sick, or you’re in a coma.  Whatever.  There are two really important questions that people will wish they could ask you:

  1. Who do you want to make decisions about health care for you?
  2. What kind of medical care do you want at the end of your life — do you prefer all measures, or do you prefer a natural death?

It’s up to you.  You get to choose.  And your loved ones (and your doctors) really really want to know what you want — so they can follow your wishes.

Advance Directives rock.  Seriously.  Your Advance Directive is the document that answers those two critical questions.  It’s your way of telling people what you want, and how to treat you.  So get it done.  You need to have it in advance of when you need it.

It’s your life.  Express yourself.