(this is copied as it was becoming a derail on the "Slow Code" thread).
Some ppl think a living will = self DNR order. Many ppl seem to think of living wills as something old ppl should do, but young ppl don't need one.
which is a sad misconception, but a common one.
A living will can state ANYTHING!!
You can have a complete algorithm, with all various scenarios,
and state what you want done in each of those kind of situations.
~A sudden, unanticipated cardiac arrest in some recovery room? Oh yeah, code me!
~I am verifiabley brain dead on a vent for 3 days, don't code me, remove the vent, remove the tube feed.
~I want everything done, no matter what, even if brain dead, code me, code me, code me.
I don't know the specifics of the case you were involved in, (a nurse stated living wills are ignored by doctor)
but, possibly, the person's living will stated they would want to be changed to a DNR in the event ______blahblahblah_______.
Or, perhaps, the patient and doc had some conversation, and the pt's verbal instruction to the doc trumped his earlier living will.
no idea. But IF IF IF the doc DID make pt a DNR, and pt's living will stated he wanted "code me, no matter what"
the family can have the DNR rescinded and have pt made a full code again, based on the pt's living will. (that might not be the wisest, most compassionate thing to do, but, with a living will, that IS an option)
I am kind of disappointed, how many NURSES on this forum
are stating remarks that seem to indicate they view themselves as too young,
or it's too early in their life,
to get involved with a having a living will for themselves
AGAIN, ALL TOGETHER NOW---------------A LIVING WILL
IS NOT NOT NOT A DNR ORDER.
NOR IS IT A REQUEST FOR FULL CODES, either.
EVERYONE'S LIVING WILL CAN BE DIFFERENT from anyone else's living will.
Each of us,
might have different criteria for what WE want done.
A LIVING WILL
WOULD WANT DONE
IN VARIOUS SCENARIOS.
In your living will-----------
YOU CAN REQUEST FULL CODE NO MATTER WHAT.
YOU CAN REQUEST FULL CODE UNLESS_______(whatever you
want here)_________. (you do NOT NOT NOT have to wait til you are 80 years old to write this out, kids!!)
YOU CAN REQUEST TERMINATION OF TUBE FEEDS, VENTS, ETC, in the event you are certifiably brain dead, or whatever criteria you want.
You can request tube feeds and vents be left in place for eons, and full codes daily til the full codes fail, even if you are certifiably brain dead.
whatever YOU want done, is what living wills are about.
Verbally telling your next of kin IS helpful, and great idea,
but THAT might not necessarily always be enough. Remember Terry Schiavo.
You ppl who think you are "too young" to get a living will,
might be inadvertently causing future stress to your next of kin by not having one. Car accidents happen.
Also, get living wills on all your loved ones, too.
Like i said earlier, i also enlisted my most assertive pal to be my "medical power of attorney"
in the event i can no longer speak for myself. She knows my wishes,
and would go to bat for me. She's also perfect, because she is both a lawyer, and a nurse and my best pal, and very assertive yet would be so compassionate to my family, she knows them all very well, too.
My family would, indeed, waffle, and leave me on the vent, i know they would, bless their hearts. They would.
so i chose my pal. My family has been told of my medical POA, and of my wishes, so they wont' be shocked when Bev pulls the plug on me, ha ha.
By taking even half an hour,
most ppl CAN avoid causing their families extra suffering, and can prevent their own selves from being that tragic brain-dead victim being kept "alive" with vents, tube feeds, etc.
My living will allows 3 days brain dead, just to give my family time to 'get it', cuz, i know how they are.