St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
“Series on Death and Dying: #2”
Coordinated and Led by Rev. Deacon George Snyder
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Lisa Zglinicki led our second class in the series on Dying. Being a nurse, Lisa was able to discuss with us the reasons why everyone needs a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Medical Treatment. People need to realize that such a Power of Attorney applies only to medical treatment; the person who is given this POA has no control on anything–financial, real estate, etc.—other than medical issues.
Lisa pointed out that if we want to control our own medical treatment, and if we want some input as to how we are treated at the end of our life, these forms need to be filled out and given to our medical provider. If no forms are on file, the law provides who has the authority to make decisions. Usually, that person is the closest relative. It could be that that person has had little contact with you over the last years, or that that person is not the one you want to make decisions. One way to control this is putting in writing–in a acceptable form–our own wishes as to who is to make those decisions for us.
Many acceptable forms are available from doctors, hospitals, and online from such organizations as Hospice; they can be downloaded free of charge. Along with the forms, detailed instructions can also be downloaded.
George mentioned that having these forms filled out and ready to use is a tremendous gift to our loved ones. When we are in a life and death situation, some people may not think too clearly. When you have provided these guidelines, your family will not have the emotional turmoil associated with making such decisions. The family will feel much better knowing that your desires are being followed.