"I'm too young for a living will"

  1. 5
    (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"
    then
    the family can have the DNR rescinded and have pt made a full code again, based on the pt's living will.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
    SIMPLY STATES
    WHAT *YOU* 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.

    lol.
    VivaLasViejas, umcRN, blueheaven, and 2 others like this.
  2. Poll: Do YOU have a living will?

    • View Results
  3. 4,152 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 34 Comments so far...

  5. 3
    Im 27. My GF and I both have living wills. I dont see it as ever being too young, I want the hard decisions already made for her.
    silenced, echoRNC711, and somenurse like this.
  6. 2
    I was 27 when my living will as drawn up.
    echoRNC711 and somenurse like this.
  7. 1
    Am I sensing you are a teeny weeny bit passionate about this topic!!!!

    Well hats off to you .Nice job.

    And yes, I have both a living will and a proxy. I picked as my proxy my husband and the most skilled Dr. I have worked with because I implicitly trust his judgement. My husband initially felt a bit bruised that it wasn't just him as my proxy until he realized I want it this way to make it easier on him..

    I was in my 30's when I did mine (I was driving all the way across America and I know how I drive! ) anyway, I was really surprised that even though I am perfectly healthy it definitely made me feel more peaceful that I have cared for my family ahead of time. It makes me feel good that I can save them from some pain and a lot of unnecessary guilt.

    My previous reservations was if I acknowledged death it was like a part of me felt like I was saying I am ok with dying now.Weird maybe, but it was how I felt. Strangely, by doing it it had the opposite effect and lessened my fears of death. My conscience feels clear that by doing so I am showing my family how much I love them.(and that makes me feel it is so worth that momentary feeling of yeah I will die too someday )
    I encourage everyone to do it, it brings a lot of peace.
    somenurse likes this.
  8. 1
    lol, yes, i am passionate about this! (don't even get me started on why i think we should all be organ donors...shiver!)

    Yes, this was cut and pasted from another thread, written after i'd seen some nurses all saying they were "too young" to have a living will written up. What is above, is like, my 3rd attempt on another thread, to help nurses reconsider saying they were too young to get a living will.
    But, EchoRN, you are right, i should have RE-written this, instead of copy/paste....to fit THIS thread, and toned it down a bit....(hangs head).

    I have trouble when i hear NURSES say "Oh, i'm too young for a living will." Other ppl, sure, misinformation is to be expected, but, among nurses? Yeah, i think nurses should know what is a living will.
    blueheaven likes this.
  9. 3
    I've never thought that I'm too young to having a living will. I have thought that it's something I need to do, but maybe because I'm fairly young, I always put it off until later.

    I was talking about this (sort of) the other day with a friend because they asked if I had thought about how I want to be buried and how much it would cost, etc. My response was, "It's hard to make plans for how you're going to pay for dying when you can barely pay to stay alive!"

    That's been another reason I haven't done it sooner. It's like Maslow's hierarchy...you can't worry about paying for your casket when you can barely pay the electric bill while you're alive. My situation is a lot better now and is uphill from now on (I hope) but that has been the case in the past.

    Honestly, if I didn't have kids to think about, I may not have even thought about it at all. When I have considered doing it, it's been because I want things to be situated for their sakes.
    blueheaven, echoRNC711, and somenurse like this.
  10. 4
    I'm one of those people who has jokingly threatened for years to have "DNR" tattooed across my chest. Well, a few years ago, I happened to find myself in a conversation with an attorney in my state (at that time) and this topic came up. I made my usual quip about the tattoo, and she responded seriously and explained that not only would that not be sufficient to keep me from getting coded, but, in that state, there is state law that says that once you're incapable of making your own decisions, your next of kin cannot take you off life support (without an existing advanced directive or HPOA). So, if I go into the hospital for something reasonable and want to make myself a DNR, I am free to do so; however, if I go into the hospital, fall out of bed and hit my head on the floor, and end up in a vegetative state, my parents (my legal NOK) can make any other healthcare decisions for me, but they cannot make me a DNR or discontinue life support. I would legally have to be kept alive indefinitely. The point of this, in the minds of the wacko state legislators at the time, was to make sure family members weren't precipitously finishing people off to get their money. Holy moley!!
    blueheaven, Altra, echoRNC711, and 1 other like this.
  11. 2
    Quote from elkpark
    I'm one of those people who has jokingly threatened for years to have "DNR" tattooed across my chest. Well, a few years ago, I happened to find myself in a conversation with an attorney in my state (at that time) and this topic came up. I made my usual quip about the tattoo, and she responded seriously and explained that not only would that not be sufficient to keep me from getting coded, but, in that state, there is state law that says that once you're incapable of making your own decisions, your next of kin cannot take you off life support (without an existing advanced directive or HPOA). So, if I go into the hospital for something reasonable and want to make myself a DNR, I am free to do so; however, if I go into the hospital, fall out of bed and hit my head on the floor, and end up in a vegetative state, my parents (my legal NOK) can make any other healthcare decisions for me, but they cannot make me a DNR or discontinue life support. I would legally have to be kept alive indefinitely. The point of this, in the minds of the wacko state legislators at the time, was to make sure family members weren't precipitously finishing people off to get their money. Holy moley!!


    such great points, Elkpark!!

    A medical power of attorney can solve this very problem, though.
    Worth pointing out, to anyone reading along, a medical POA does NOT have to be your next of kin.
    MY family would sooooo leave me on the vent, tube fed, oh, they would. They would have a lotta trouble pulling the plug. so i chose an assertive pal instead,
    told family of it, worked for my situation anyway.
    VivaLasViejas and echoRNC711 like this.
  12. 0
    Quote from Ntheboat2
    I've never thought that I'm too young to having a living will. I have thought that it's something I need to do, but maybe because I'm fairly young, I always put it off until later.

    I was talking about this (sort of) the other day with a friend because they asked if I had thought about how I want to be buried and how much it would cost, etc. My response was, "It's hard to make plans for how you're going to pay for dying when you can barely pay to stay alive!"

    That's been another reason I haven't done it sooner. It's like Maslow's hierarchy...you can't worry about paying for your casket when you can barely pay the electric bill while you're alive. My situation is a lot better now and is uphill from now on (I hope) but that has been the case in the past.

    Honestly, if I didn't have kids to think about, I may not have even thought about it at all. When I have considered doing it, it's been because I want things to be situated for their sakes.


    THIS is so so so easy to understand. Oh, do i ever hear you on that one, Nthboat!! Your words will be so so easily understood, by the overwhelming majority of busy ppl!!!

    Creating a living will,
    and getting a legal medical POA,
    do not involve much time, nor much cash, either. but, Ntheboat makes some very easy to understand points above, about the hierarchy of needs/survival. Very easy to understand those points!!


    Still, even in the busiest of lives, sooner or later, comes a day, where we can review our ongoing "to do" lists. I keep a "this week" to do list,
    as well as an ongoing "to do" lists, some of which, i know, might not even get done this year!

    for days, i am on top of getting things done.
  13. 1
    Quote from melmarie23
    I was 27 when my living will as drawn up.
    I was also pregnant with my first, so it seemed like a good as time as any! LOL
    somenurse likes this.


Top