Of course I'm only in my early 40s, but I was thinking about filling out an advanced directive. The main reason is because I have a chronic lung disease and I don't want to suffocate at the end of my life. So if my disease gets the better of me I want to have it in ink how I want to end my life.
So long as the reason is to help me overcome an acute illness, I have no problem with being a full code and being placed on a ventilator short term. Yet if I'm in a coma, or if I'm in such a condition that there's no chance of a normal life, I want to be taken off a ventilator and let nature take its course. I don't want to be kept alive if I've taken such an anoxic hit there's no hope of me being me.
I also see a lot of doctors not wanting to oxygenate people with certain diseases. Recently we had a patient with an oxygen level unsustainable with life. The patient was very uncomfortable as a result. Yet based on some stupid philosophy, the doctor decided not to oxygenate that patient. God forbid that happen to me.
So I'd like to place in my advanced directives that my PO2 always be greater than 60. In other words, I don't want to suffocate. I want to be oxygenated.
I also want in my advanced directive that no matter what condition I'm in that I be allowed to have as many bronchodilator therapies as I want in a day. I don't want some doctor telling a nurse that I can only have one treatment every four hours when I need one every hour.
If you're reading this blog chances are you have a lung disease too. And even if you don't, it's never too early to fill out an advanced directive. You can do so by following this link.