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Advanced Directives

By Pat
Posted on

I had the conversation with my parent.

As it turned out, she had a massive cerebral aneurysm rupture while she was traveling. The hosptial called to tell us what had happened and that she was in the ICU on the ventilator. We quickly told her that she did not wish a ventilator and asked them to remove the breathing tube (even though it was clear that this would probably mean her death
My mother was a nurse and had been a widow for many years. She had definite ideas about what she wanted and didn’t want. She completed her advanced directives when she was about 70 and gave a copy to each of her children and her physician. She had the ‘difficult conversation’ with each of children (even though we didn’t really want to hear about the possibility of her death or a tragic event).
As it turned out, she had a massive cerebral aneurysm rupture while she was traveling. The hosptial called to tell us what had happened and that she was in the ICU on the ventilator. We quickly told her that she did not wish a ventilator and asked them to remove the breathing tube (even though it was clear that this would probably mean her death).
When they removed the tube, she passed away within minutes. There were two beautiful things about our experience: my mother’s wishes were honored; her children understood her wishes and because of this, had no dilema or resultant guilt over removing the breathing tube.

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