You Need A Living Will Or Advance Directive

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(Memphis) The old saying goes “only two things are certain in life: Death and Taxes.”

Now that your taxes are paid, healthcare advocates are encouraging you to focus on the other subject in a national campaign.

Wednesday was National Healthcare Decision Day.

Never heard of it? Well you’re not alone, but healthcare advocates like Jeri Ashley are trying to change that.

“Although it’s uncomfortable to think about it and talk about it many people find a relief,” said Ashley, Baptist Hospital’s System Director for Life Planning.

More than 70 percent of those in the Mid-South have a living will, or instructions about what to do if you can’t make a healthcare decision for yourself.

This can become an issue if someone is in a coma or very sick and depends on loved ones or medical professionals to make decisions for them.

“When that’s understood it’s so much easier, not easy but easier to make those medical decisions that come up when you are seriously ill,” said Ashley.

Baptist and Aging with Dignity are encouraging everyone to fill out a Five Wishes form.

The form asks questions like if you want to be resuscitated, how long you want to live on life support, and lets your loved ones know how you want to be cared for if you are alive but incapacitated.

It’s also important to pick someone who understands you and your wishes to make decisions on your behalf.

“For those families who don’t know what the loved one wants years after the person dies they can have guilt and second guessing,” said Ashley.

Having a living will takes that pressure away.

The Five Wishes form costs $1 from Aging with Dignity.

“Death takes five seconds. Everything prior to that is life and how you plan for that needs to happen while you are well,” said

If you would like a copy of the Five Wishes document click this link:


  • nick

    A living will doesn’t matter. If you go unresponsive at a hospital your family can change your wishes to theirs. So why waste the paper? At least until hospitals respect peoples wishes o ER the wishes of family members.

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