How We Live
In a New York Times piece earlier this week, “How Doctors Die,” reporter Dan Gorenstein explores how doctors are taking control of their health care by making choices and planning ahead for the kind of medical treatments they would want in a serious health emergency situation. But how can the rest of us do the same?
How do lay people make the right choices? The truth is, we don’t need a medical degree to decide what’s important to us. What quality of life is acceptable to us? Are there upcoming life events like weddings, graduations and births that we’d want to share with loved ones, no matter the extent of medical treatments required to get us there? Would hearing certain music or watching a particular TV show help us recover -- or pass -- in a better frame of mind?
Everyone should share such thoughts with family and document them in case of an emergency because your voice about your care is critical to helping doctors and caregivers understand what you want or don’t want. Enduring stress in their own families was what made MyDirectives founders Jeff Zucker and Scott Brown realize there had to be a better way. That’s when they came up with the online platform where, for free, anyone can set up and keep updated an advance medical directive, accessible anytime, anywhere.
We at MyDirectives look forward to a day when all Americans 18 and over – not just doctors – take a few minutes to fill out and update an advance medical directive. After all, it is not about “how we die” – it is about “how we live.”