My father passed away from injuries received in a car accident at the age of 88. I think he and my mom had discussed that he didn’t want any life saving measures, but he had not signed any living will or health care power of attorney. He had brain trauma and other internal injuries and never really spoke much after the accident. He did regain consciousness, but still had a feeding tube after 10 days and the doctors could not tell us what his chances for a full recovery were. Being unable to express his level of pain, etc. it was hard to assess his mental awareness. We finally decided to meet with Hospice and decide whether the feeding tube should be removed. My brother, mom and I met with them. We all felt at his age and given the extent of his injuries, that he would have a long road ahead of recovery (therapy, etc) and still might not ever be able to return to a quality of life he would be happy with. Mom was living in assistant living and he had chosen to stay in their home and was still independent. He would have hated to be in a nursing home, which was what we all could see in his immediate and maybe long term future. It was a very difficult decision to remove the feeding tube, but we did decide to do it. Hospice told us he could live for up to 2 weeks. As it turned out, the feeding tube was removed on Saturday and he passed away the next day, Sunday early in the a.m. So, we know it wasn’t because we removed the tube — God had planned it that way all along. We wouldn’t however, have had to go through what we did if he had signed a living will directing that he definitely did not want life sustaining measures taken. The feeding tube decision would have been made by him. I strongly encourage everyone to have a living will or heath care power of attorney stating exactly what should be done if a life sustaining decision needs to be made.
I strongly encourage everyone to have a living will or heath care power of attorney stating exactly what should be done if a life sustaining decision needs to be made.